Following a three-win Saturday at Churchill Downs, jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. is starting to close the gap on top-rider Corey Lanerie in the Fall Meet jockey standings, trailing 19 wins to 10 through the 11 days of the 21-day meet.
“I just have to stay hungry,” Santana said. “I keep working hard to chase Corey and it would be unbelievable if we could get there one day.”
Santana, who turns 24 on Nov. 19, teamed with trainer Steve Asmussen for two of his three victories Saturday: Supernumerary (Race 2) and Tapsolute (Race 9). The Panama native also picked up a victory in Race 5 aboard Granian for trainer Randy Morse.
Lanerie, who will celebrate his 43rd birthday on Monday, has been the leading rider at Churchill Downs for 14 of the last 16 meets, including the last five Fall Meets. Santana and Lanerie shared the 2014 September Meet title with 13 victories.
Prior to Churchill Downs' Fall Meet, Santana won his first Keeneland riding title with 20 victories through 83 starters.
“I was so blessed to win the Keeneland title,” Santana said. “We worked really hard and kept striving for the top. I'm ready to continue working hard this winter to meet my goals after the Churchill meet. I finally decided I'm going to Aqueduct this winter with (agent) Ruben (Munoz). It will be a good change and I'm looking forward to it.”
Santana is currently ranked No. 16 nationally out of 1,512 jockeys with $8,002,525 in purse earnings in 2017, according to Equibase.
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