Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. was dominant this spring at Oaklawn Park. Santana finished things off in style by winning the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on Saturday and also wrapped up the meet's riding title. These accolades would help him capture the Jockeys' Guild Jockey of the Week Award for the week of April 11th to April 17th. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys' Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
Santana's biggest win of the meet came Saturday when he guided the Steve Asmussen trained Creator to a 1 ¼ length score in the meets featured event, the $1,000,000 Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. Sent off at odds of 11-1, Creator was last in the field and as many as 15 lengths from the leaders down the backstretch, before Ricardo took the WinStar Farm owned three-year-old from last to first in a quarter of a mile to win going away.
“He made a nice run in the end,” Santana said. “Last time it was 14 horses. Today it was 12 horses. Steve told me to be patient, be patient, because you're going to have a lot of horse. It worked out—worked out really good. I hope I have the same trip in the Kentucky Derby.”
The Panamanian born rider finished atop the 2016 Oaklawn Park leaderboard with 80 victories, 38 wins ahead of second leading rider Ramon Vasquez.
Santana finished this week with four wins from his 32 mounts, adding seven second place finishes, and seven thirds. He finished in the money with 56 percent of his mounts and topped North America in earnings with $841,106.
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