For Rafael Bejarano’s sake, it’s a good thing Garrett Gomez didn’t start the Del Mar meet like the rest of the jockey colony.
Of course, Gomez had his much publicized drinking binge and depression following the breakup of his marriage and he missed three weeks of action at the seaside oval.
In his absence, Bejarano had no one to battle him for leading jockey honors and he should have no problem the final seven days of the meet winning the title.
Last week, Gomez was the king of the hill with 6 wins from 29 mounts (21 percent). Bejarano, on the other hand, was 5-for-26. It should be noted Bejarano missed Friday’s action riding at Saratoga.
Of course, the truly big winner of the week was Martin Garcia (4-for-16) as he took home the big cash in the Pacific Classic aboard Game On Dude and the Pat O’Brien aboard Fed Biz.
Edwin Maldonado rebounded from a bad week to record a 5-for-29 effort while Victor Espinoza was 4-for-25. Joltin’ Joe Talamo was 3-for-30, but scored a couple times on the turf so maybe he is coming out of his slump. Gary Stevens was 3-for-17 and Corey Nakatani was 3-for-18.
On the cold side were Mario Gutierrez (0-for-13) and Julien Leparoux (0-for-12) but again Leparoux did ride Saturday at Saratoga.
On the money side, we know trainer Bob Baffert (3-for10) was king of the hill in the cash checking department. John Sadler (5-for-23) didn’t do too bad with $320,000 earned by finishing second and third.
Doug O’Neill (3-for-19) and Peter Miller (3-for-14) continued on their merry ways. Jerry Holldendorfer was 2-for-13 and Vann Belvoir was 2-for-10.
The top five trainers in the standings won 37 percent of the races for the week (16-for-43).
On the cold side were Mike Mitchell (1-for-8), Jeff Mullins (0-for-5), Mike Pender (0-for-4) and Victor Garcia (0-for-2).
On the plus side, Neil Drysdale stayed hot with a couple more wins and Ron Ellis finally made it to the winner’s circle twice.
@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter