The New York Racing Association presented 16 stakes races at Saratoga during the week of August 23; Joel Rosario had a mount in every one. He won five of those stakes including two Grade 1s and one Grade II. His accomplishments earned Jockey of the Week honors for August 23 through August 29. The award, which is voted on by a panel of racing experts, is for jockeys who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 active riders in the United States as well as retired and permanently disabled jockeys.
Rosario’s five stakes wins for the week began on Friday, New York Showcase Day. Given a leg up in the Fleet Indian Stakes by trainer Bob Dunham, Rosario and Byhubbyhellomoney tracked in fourth before finding a seam along the rail to post a neck victory in 1:52.07 for the 1-1/8 miles contest for three-year-old fillies. Rosario won his second straight stakes of the day riding City Man for Christophe Clement in the West Point Handicap for three-year-olds and up on the turf. City Man ran the 1-1/16 miles in 1:41.30.
On Saturday, trainer Chad Brown saddled three entrants in the Grade II Ballston Spa with Rosario on Viadera. Under Rosario, Viadera saved ground in third, advancing up the rail through the final turn then angled to the three-path and dug in to overtake High Opinion and Luis Saez at the wire in a final time of 1:41.82 for the 1-1/16 inner turf test for older fillies and mares. “Turning for home, I was clear,” said Rosario. “She always tries really hard. She’s a very good filly.”
In the Grade I H. Allen Jerkens Memorial, trainer Steve Asmussen gave a leg up to Rosario, regular rider of Jackie’s Warrior. Rosario and Jackie’s Warrior tracked in second as Life Is Good led the field of three-year-olds through the half. At the top of the stretch, Jackie’s Warrior capitalized on running room from the inside and held off a resurgent Life Is Good to prevail by a neck in 1:21.39. “I felt confident, but Life is Good was not giving up and a lot of credit to him, too, it was a very good race,” said Rosario.
Rosario captured his second Grade I of the day in the Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer aboard Gufo for trainer Christophe Clement. Last of seven, the duo saved ground first time past the wire, advancing down the backstretch, rallying outside of Tribuvan and Channel Maker and staving off European invader, Japan, to win by a neck in 2:28.30 for the 1-1/2-mile inner-turf contest. “He ran a really good race today and turning for home, it was just a really good performance,” said Rosario.
Rosario’s weekly statistics were 39-11-2-3 for a 41% in-the-money percentage and total purses of $1,663,476.
Rosario out-polled Arnaldo Bocachica who won three stakes at Charles Town, Paco Lopez who led all riders in wins with 14, Luis Saez who won the Grade I Travers and Ricardo Santana, Jr, who won the Grade I Forego with Yaupon.