With more stakes wins than any other North American jockey last week, Jorge Vargas, Jr. was chosen as Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for April 15-21, 2019. 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 FoundationDetox.com, America’s #1 Equine Toxin Remover.
A number of jockeys captured one or two stakes victories last weekend, but only Jorge Vargas, Jr. pulled in three stakes wins. Vargas’ wins came on Saturday at Laurel Park, including two of the four Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship Series divisional races.
Vargas first won the $100,000 King T. Leatherbury Stakes with Dirty ($13.00), defeating 13 other horses in the turf sprint for 3-year-olds and up. Dirty is trained by Jeremiah Englehart for owner Tom O’Grady.
The second MATCH race on the card also went to Vargas, whose mount this time was the post-time favorite, Ms Locust Point. ($4.00). Vargas and Ms Locust Point were wire-to-wire winners for trainer John Servis and owners Jim Reichenberg and Cash is King LLC.
Ms Locust Point gave Vargas his first career Grade 2 stakes victory in 2018, when the pair won the Barbara Fritchie Stakes at Laurel. He earned his first career graded stakes win in the year before, winning the American St. Leger Stakes (G3) with Postulation at Arlington.
Vargas returned to the winner’s circle for a third time in the $100,00 Henry S. Clark Stakes with Irish Strait ($5.80) for trainer Graham Motion and owner/breeder Isabelle de Tomaso.
Vargas was the third leading rider last week by stakes earnings, with $208,000 in six stakes starts. He was tenth by total earnings, adding $251,130 to his 2019 total of $1,302,661. His career earnings to date total $20,835,415.
In 17 starts, Vargas won four races and finished in the money on 41% of his mounts last week. In 2019, he has won 39 of his 169 races and has won 652 of his 3,807 races in his career.
The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship (MATCH) Series comprises 20 divisional stakes held throughout the summer at five participating tracks. The next MATCH stakes day is June 1 at Penn National Race Course.
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