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Get Tied-On People

A couple of weeks ago I did a two week review blog and talked about the jockey, trainer and owner standings. After only six days of racing everything was pretty close in all three categories. Well, after 13 days of racing, the standings are still close and I don't think anything is going to change anytime soon. Here's a look at the jock's race: James Graham is narrowly in front with 13 wins, Brian J. Hernandez, Jr., Shane Sellers and John Jacinto are all locked-up with 12 wins each, Corey Lanerie has 11, Curt Bourque has 10, Jesse Campbell has nine, Richard Eramia has eight, Jamie Theriot has seven and Kerwin "Boo Boo" Clark has six.

Nobody is really dominating the jockey's race, but remember, we've got a few familiar faces joining the riding colony this week. And those familair faces win on a regular basis. Robby Albarado, Shaun Bridgmohan, Francisco "Cisco" Torres are already named to ride horses here this week, while Miguel Mena is expected to be riding here soon. What does all of this mean to the current riding colony? This means that some jockeys will move down in the pecking order of a few trainers. Some trainers will now be looking to ride Robby, Shaun, Cisco and Miguel, which will open-up the other top riders for mounts they would not normally be available to ride. So again, over the next few weeks this will change the pecking order and the number of "live" horses that some riders are getting on each day.

Who's my pick for leading rider? It's still may be too early to make a selection, but I do like James Graham's chances. He's off to a great start and his business may not change much with the new additions. James rides winners on a regular basis and that makes him tough to deal with. No doubt, Robby and Shaun will have a strong and immediate impact in the jock's room. Both ride for some powerful trainers (Robby -everybody) and (Shaun- Steve Asmussen) and will win races in bunches, and don't count-out Cisco - he's capable of going on a hot streak. Let the competition begin, so get tied-on people.

If you think the jockey's race is tough, take a look at the trainer's race. Here's how it shakes out after four weeks: Brett Calhoun and Eric Guillot are tied with six winners, while Mike Stidham, Steve Asmussen, Merrill Scherer, Sturges Ducoing and Steve Margolis each have five winners. Five others are tied with four. The big question is who has the fire power to run and win on a regular basis. I'll give you my prediction in a minute.

It shold be noted that entire contingent of Kentucky trainers are now getting settled-in and ready to perform. The late arrivals include Bobby Barnett, Carl Bowman, David Carroll, Wally Dollase, Bernie Flint, Neil Howard, Paul Magee, Angel Montano, Shannon Ritter, Dallas Stewart, and Mike Tammaro. Some Kentucky outfits that have been here since the start and are in the process of filling the remainder of their stall allotments are Tom Amoss, Steve Asmussen, Greg Foley, D. Wayne Lukas, Steve Margolis, Ralph Nicks, Merrill Scherer, Jeff Thornberry and Ronny Werner.

Who's my pick for leading trainer? Without hesitation, I think the "Big Blue Machine" has more than enough fire power to repeat as leading trainer. This is a tough meet, with a lot of talent in the training department, but Steve Asmussen wins in a romp. Get tied-on people and enjoy the ride.

The past two weeks have been good for the Eric Guillot - Mike Moreno owner-trainer combination. As I mentioned earlier, Eric Guillot has won six races, which means his principal owner Mike Moreno's Southern Equine Stables leads the owners standings with six. They hold a three win advantage over Carl Moore and Harris Hughey. There are seven owners tied with two winners a piece. This is a tough category to make a prediction, so I'm going to be politically correct and hope that every owner gets to visit the winner's circle.

We've completed four weeks of this meet, but things are just getting ready to heat-up, in every category. The entire month of December has lots of stakes action to offer, including Louisiana Champions Day on the 12th and our first big Saturday of five "open company" stakes races on the 19th. If Thoroughbred action is what gets your blood pumpin' - the month of December has it all - so all I can tell you is, get tied-on people.