Rafael Bejarano and Jerry Hollendorfer can only hope the rest of the Spring/Summer meet comes close to the first week.
Bejarano, who entered Thursday seven shy of 3,000 career wins, had
26 mounts the first four days of the meet. He finished with 11
victories, five seconds and three thirds.
The hot streak left the Peruvian native eight winners clear of Tyler
Baze and Edwin Maldonado and nine in front of Joe Talamo, Garrett
Gomez, Kevin Krigger and Martin Garcia.
Bejarano will be at Churchill Downs this week to ride Midnight Lucky
for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert in the Kentucky Oaks Friday and
Overanalyze for Todd Pletcher Saturday in the Kentucky Derby.
Hollendorfer struck at an even higher percentage than Bejarano. The
Hall of Fame trainer won with five of nine starters, including four
stakes. The pair combined to take the Wilshire Stakes Sunday with Halo
Dolly and the day before teamed to win the Melair (Doinhardtimeagain)
and Tiznow (Kate’s Event).
John Sadler, Bob Baffert and Mike Mitchell round out the top four, each with a pair of victories.
Also in Kentucky this week are Kevin Krigger, who rides Goldencents
for Doug O’Neill in the Derby; Mike Smith, who pilots Princess of Sylmar
in the Oaks and Palace Malice in the Derby, both for Todd Pletcher;
Garrett Gomez, aboard Beholder (Richard Mandella) in the Oaks and Vyjack
(Rudy Rodriguez) in the Derby; and Julien Leparoux, who has assignments
on Pure Fun in the Oaks and Java’s War in the Derby for trainer Ken