Many Churchill-based jockeys bypassing Saratoga this year
In the past, the end of the Churchill Downs spring meet would mean a migration of top jockeys to New York, where they would ride at Saratoga for the remainder of the summer. This year is very different, however, as not one Churchill Downs-based jockey will be heading to upstate New York at the conclusion of Churchill’s spring meet.
“I can hardly remember a time when not one Kentucky jock went to Saratoga,” said Fred Aime, a longtime agent who represented Pat Day for years and now works for Miguel Mena and Shane Sellers.
The leading riders at the current Churchill Downs meeting-Corey Lanerie, Shaun Bridgmohan, and Calvin Borel-all intend to ride at Ellis Park, which begins its summer meet July 4. Aime said that both his clients will be heading up to Arlington Park to ride.
“Saratoga is going to be extremely tough this year,” said Lenny Pike, agent for Bridgmohan. “Besides the regulars like Ramon [Dominguez] and [Javier] Castellano, you’ve also got Rosie [Napravnik] and [Joel] Rosario there for the first time. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for any of us to go up there for six weeks just to try to max out with 8 or 10 wins.”