Horse Racing

Belmont Stakes 2022: A Recap of Best Jockeys to Bet On

The Belmont Stakes 2022 results saw some of the finest horses on the dirt in the U.S. in action, and the form of many of the rivals that were in contention has held up extremely strong since. But, how have the jockeys fared since their runs in the Belmont Stakes this year?

Irad Ortiz Jr.

It has been a stunning year in the saddle for Irad Ortiz Jr. He rode Mo Donegal to a dominant success in the Belmont Stakes 2022 results, as the three-year-old held off stablemate Nest to win by three lengths. 

Ortiz Jr looks to be on course to be named top jockey in the U.S. this season, as he has won over $18.6 million in earnings and is operating at a very dominant strike rate of 26%. From 727 starts, he has won 190 races and has placed on 138 occasions.

Ortiz Jr.’s Poor Exit

The only disappointment that he may have had come at Royal Ascot, as he was blamed for a poor exit from the stalls under Wesley Ward’s Golden Pal.

However, his form has picked back up on home soil, and he could have a number of very big rides coming up at the Breeders’ Cup later in the year.

Prank’s Performance

Prank was one of the most exciting horses that we saw at Saratoga in July, while he hopped back on board Nest to avenge her Kentucky Oaks defeat to Secret Oath with a dominant showing in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks. There are few jockeys in better form at present than Ortiz.

Jose Ortiz

Jose Ortiz likely wouldn’t have been too disappointed with the Belmont Stakes 2022 results, as his ride, Nest, produced a strong effort to finish second.

The runner-up finish meant that he wasn’t able to build on his success in the Preakness Stakes earlier in the year, but his form on track remains exceptionally strong.

Jockeys’ Standings

Ortiz currently sits fourth in the overall jockeys standings this season, as he has won 135 times from 697 rides.

He is currently operating at a 19% strike rate and has taken over $13.5 million in earnings so far this calendar year.

Ortiz’s Best Wins

His best wins since the Belmont Stakes have come in the G1 Jenny Wiley, with Regal Glory, and Letruska in the G1 Apple Blossom.

He could yet be aiming for Breeders’ Cup glory at the end of the season, as Jack Christopher looks to have a solid chance in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Manny Franco

Manny France would have likely been one of the happiest jockeys with his horse after the Belmont Stakes. The jockey got the ride on 20/1 shot Skippylongstocking, with the outsider eventually finishing in third place in the Belmont Stakes results.

Franco’s Jockeys Standings Position

Franco is currently sitting eighth in the jockeys standings this year, as he has recorded 114 wins from 625 rides.

He is striking at 18% and has placed in 84 races. Furthermore, he has finished in the top three on a further 93 occasions already in 2022 to take earnings from his rides to $8.5 million.

Grade 1 Winner

However, Franco has recorded just one Grade 1 winner this year, with that success coming on board Tribhuvan in the G1 Manhattan Stakes.

He has won other graded races, though, which include the G2 Wonder Again with Consumer Spending and the G3 Tom Fool Handicap with Officiating.

Flavien Prat

Flavien Prat is rightly regarded as one of the top jockeys in the world. But, he would have likely been slightly disappointed with his ride on one of the favorites in the Belmont Stakes 2022 predictions.

We The People was sent off in the Belmont Stakes as a 2/1 chance but eventually finished over seven lengths behind Mo Donegal.

Prat’s Jockeys Standings Position

Prat is still sitting third in the jockey’s standings for 2022, as he has recorded 143 winners from 574 rides. He is striking at 25%, which is the second highest of the jockeys in the top ten of the rankings. As well as the 143 winners, he has also finished second on 119 occasions and third on 76 occasions.

The 29-year-old has already enjoyed some massive wins in 2022 with Country Grammer and Hot Rod Charlie in the Middle East, while Zandon’s win in the G1 Blue Grass Stakes remains one of his biggest victories on home soil.

As well as that victory, he also won the G1 Acorn with Matareya, the G1 United Nations with Adhamo, and G3 Monmouth Cup with Highly Motivated.

Sonny Leon

This year will likely be one that Sonny Leon remembers for the rest of his life. Leon rode the winner of the Kentucky Derby for the first time in May with Rich Strike, which gave him a first Grade 1 victory in the biggest race on the calendar.

He wasn’t able to add a second Triple Crown victory in the Belmont Stakes, as the Derby winner finished back in sixth.

It has already been a career-best year for Leon, as he has taken more in earnings in 2022 than any previous year.

Leon’s Career Recap

To this point, he has won over $4.1 million in prize money and has ridden 102 winners from 609 starts. He has also finished second on 110 occasions and third on a further 91 starts.

It appears difficult to see him topping his victory on board Rich Strike, as his next best horse in 2022 is yet to win a graded stakes race.

Country Club Bobby has won over $94,000 in prize money, while Flatter Her Again and Giant Nova also rank among his most profitable rides.

Joel Rosario

Joel Rosario was on board Barber Road in the Belmont Stakes earlier this year, but the 10/1 shot never looked like getting involved in the race. He eventually finished back in seventh, with only Golden Glider finishing behind him.

Rosario’s Positions at the Jockey Standings

However, his form has been back on track since the final Triple Crown race, as he sits second in the jockey standings.

He has won 114 times from 546 starts and has finished second on a further 101 occasions. So far this year, he has taken just over $16 million in prize money, which is the second-most in the U.S. in 2022.

Rosario’s Main Achieve

His main chance to achieve more substantial returns before the end of the season will likely hinge on Epicenter.

After finishing second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, he returned with a fine success in the G2 Jim Dandy. 

There is now an expectation that the three-year-old will be pointed towards the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Other Grade 1 victories that he has recorded this year have come with Clairiere in the G1 Ogden Phipps, Jackie’s Warrior in the G1 Churchill Downs Stakes, and In Italian in the G1 Diana Stakes.

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