Six-Win Day Launches Saez To Top Of Churchill Jockey Standings, Maker Takes Trainer Title - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Six-Win Day Launches Saez To Top Of Churchill Jockey Standings, Maker Takes Trainer Title

Luis Saez

Jockey Luis Saez made his presence felt Saturday at Churchill Downs as the 30-year-old vaulted to the top of the Fall Meet jockey standings with six victories on the 12-race card.

Saez entered Sunday's closing day card with a 23-17 win lead over Tyler Gaffalione and Brian Hernandez Jr. in his attempt to win his first riding title beneath the historic Twin Spires. At the end of the day, Gaffalione was still second, with 21 wins, while Hernandez was third with 18.

“I love it here at Churchill Downs,” Saez said. “Every day I come here to try and ride the best I can. It was a great day and I'm very grateful.”

Saez, who began riding in 2009, is one of North America's top jockeys. He finished last season ranked No. 3 in North America with 293 wins and $26,194,654 in earnings. Represented by retired trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, Saez was riding his first full-time meet at Churchill Downs this fall.

On Saturday's card, Saez was chasing the record one-day win total set by Pat Day (June 20, 1984) and Julien Leparoux (Nov. 11, 2008) but came one-win short of tying the record.

Saez began Saturday on a tear winning the first five of six races. His only early blemish was a runner-up effort in Race 2. Saez found the winner's circle one additional time in Race 11 aboard Instant Coffee in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2).

“In his last start (in the Breeders' Futurity [G1]) I really thought he was going to be close to the pace,” Saez said. “He had so much trouble early on in the race that he wasn't where he needed to be. He made a big move pretty late but it was too late. There were some really good horses in there. I told (trainer) Brad (Cox) I want to ride him back because I think he can improve a lot.”

In the trainer standings, Mike Maker closed the meet with a 12-11 win lead over Steve Asmussen. Maker secured his eighth Churchill Downs title and sixth during the Fall Meet.

In the owner standings, there was a seven-way tie with three wins each: Godolphin; Lothenbach Stables; Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher; Stonestreet Stables; Susan and Jim Hill; Three Diamonds Farm; and Kyle W. Nagle.

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