On a weekend with multiple graded stakes and Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks points on the line for many, Drayden Van Dyke and his win aboard City of Light in the Triple Bend Stakes earned the support of voters as Jockeys' Guild Jockey of the Week for March 5-11, 2018. 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. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by Animal Element's Foundation Detox and Product X Performance Enhancer.
Van Dyke began the Saturday card at Santa Anita with six scheduled mounts and was off to a flawless start as he won the first four consecutive races of the day. He started with wins in back-to-back maiden special weights, first with Call West ($6.20), then with first-time starter McKale ($3.20). He then won with Well Developed ($9.40) in an allowance before the stakes races began for the day.
His Pick 4 ended with a win in the fourth race, the $400,000 Triple Bend Stakes (G1). Van Dyke and post-time favorite City of Light ($4.00) stalked early before pulling to the lead and winning by a length and a half over Bobby Abu Dhabi in the seven-furlong event. In December, Van Dyke rode City of Light to the colt's first Grade 1 victory in the $300,000 Malibu Stakes on opening day of the Santa Anita meet.
Though he would finish off the board in his remaining two starts on the card, his fourth-place finish in the $400,000 San Felipe (G2) earned five Kentucky Derby qualifying points for his mount, Peace.
Van Dyke was the third leading North American jockey by total earnings last week, adding $434,279 to his lifetime total of $22.6 million. In 2018, he is currently ranked 14th among all North American jockeys, with $1,769,491 earned to date this year.
He was the fourth leading rider by stakes earnings last week, picking up $269,109 in the Triple Bend, San Felipe, China Doll and Sensational Star stakes.
Van Dyke won five of his 13 starts last week, for a win rate of 38% and was in the money on 62% of his mounts. This year, he has won 29 of his 121 starts and is 422 for 2,891 lifetime.
The 2014 Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey is currently the tenth leading jockey by wins in the winter meet at Santa Anita, but is second only to Flavien Prat by earnings in the meet.
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