(Auburn, WA) It was another competitive week at the races with 13 riders finding their way to picture time. 4 had multiple wins and this all done with the least amount of races for a 3 day period that I can remember with only 22 races over the 3 days.

The 4 time Champ Alex Cruz re-asserted himself while Juan Gutierrez looks to be heating up even more and 4 riders in the top 10 who were unranked last week. Okay, let’s get to this week’s version of the Power Rankings! 

2024 Power Rankings #6

#1 Alex Cruz (Last week #10)

The 4-time defending Champ was in danger of falling off the top 10 list for the 1st time since we began the Power Rankings last year but he redeemed himself with the most wins in a weekend and in a single day so far this season. Cruz had won the final race of the week to squeeze ouot 1 win over the prior 2 weeks before scoring a win last Friday and then 4 wins in 7 of the races on Saturday winning the 1st and last Daily Doubles along with the Saturday feature and finished with 5 wins for the weekend. He also retook his lead in the jockey standings as he came in tied with Karlo Lopez and now has a 2 win lead. Cruz rocketed up the charts from #10 to #1.

#2 Juan Gutierrez (Last week #5)

Juan Gutierrez continues to prove why he is the winningest jockey in Emerald Downs history and is also working as his own agent. Gutierrez has ridden in 5 feature races so far this year and he has now won 4 in a row and winning 3 of the last 6. He had 3 winner’s last weekend and just 4 mounts. His win percent leads all riders at 33%. Guti is being careful in his selection of rides and making the most of them he is back and should be taken seriously if he’s not already.  We had a chance to talk with him last Sunday after his latest feature race win and our interview is below.


#3 Carlos Montalvo (Last week #1)

Carlos Montalvo came in with a total focus on this season at Emerald Downs and he has been spectacular. This past week he got bumped off the top spot after spending 2 weeks at the top but not sure he could have done a whole lot more to try and stay there. He still had 2 wins from just 7 starts, was 2-1-2-1 from 7 mounts a 29% win rate, 71% top 3 and an 86% superfecta rate. Solid week lands him at #3.

#4 Karlo Lopez (Last week #2)

Karlo Lopez remains in his stalking position just behind Cruz and although he pulled into a tie with Alex last week he has not been able to take over the top spot in the Jockey race yet. He still is somewhat haunted by the dreaded 2nditis bug but did grind out 3 wins this past week but also had 3 places, 3 shows and 4 4th place finishes for a 3-3-3-4 record from 18 rides for a 17% win rate 50% top 3 and 67% top 4 for another really good week of riding.

#5 Kevin Krigger (Last week was unranked)

Last week we mentioned we kept Kevin Krigger off the Power Rankings because he was not going to be here after his brief initial appearance 2 weeks ago where he won 2 of 3 mounts and finished 3rd on his 3rd ride. Then Krigger returned last week and he is riding here again this coming weekend so he has officially cracked our Power Rankings for the 1st time. Krigger was 1-1-1-3 from 7 rides and is now 3-1-2-3 from 10 mounts for an overall 30% win rate 2nd only to Juan G and 90% superfecta finish.

#6 Javier Matias (Last week at unranked)

Javier missed the top 10 last week after a great start to the season. The Rooster has returned to the top 10 with a good week of work winning 1 and placing twice, 2 shows and a 4th from 9 rides for an 11% win rate and 67% top 4 finish.

#7 Kevin Orozco (Last week unranked)

Kevin Orozco also re-imurges into the top 10 PR’s with another solid week. Orozco is off to a good start this season and has avoided the down weeks with a win each week but 1. Kevin had a record of 1-3-2-0 from 8 starts for the 13% win rate and 75% top 3 and top 4 finish rate.

#8 Silvio Amador (Last week unranked)

Silvio Amador’s bout with 2nd-itis would stick out more if it weren’t for Karlo Lopez. Lopez has 13 wins and 25 2nds while Amador has 7 wins and 17 place finishes. Both no doubt are planning on turning more of those 2nds into wins. Amador got 1 win this week but added another 4 2nds. Amador is close to breaking it open will it be this weekend? I wouldn’t be surprised.

#9 Luis Reyes (Last week at #4)

Luis Reyes has been consistent as can be and put together another solid week winning 1 of 7 with a show and 2 4ths. He drops because of his overall top 4 percent and no 2nd place finishes. But Reyes remains a major threat each time he saddles up.

#10 Brayan Pena (Last week #9)

Brayan Pena is another with fewer wins than he’d like at this point but keeps pounding on the door and he hits the top 4 on a regular basis and also gets at least 1 win a week. Last week he went 1-1-4-3 from 15 rides. It’s the 3rd place that is where Pena has been stuck now with a season mark of 8-5-21-11. You certainly must have him on your trifecta and supedrfecta tickets at the very least.

Honorable Mentions:

In our Honorable mentions this week we start with Jose Rodriguez who got his 1st win of the season on Friday night wiring the final race on 12-1 Nomi Lackee. It was his only ride of the week and he made it work. Congrats Jose. Leslie Mawing and Jose Zunino both got wins this week and just missed the top 10 this week but I can’t imagine either one not getting back on very quickly. And Isaias Enriquez dropped off and almost became our 1st rider without a win to stay on the top 10. He again gets very limited rides and this last week had just 4 and finished 0-1-1-1 for a 75% top 4 finish. He also will be back in the top 10 soon. 

One other jockey note this week, Another former riding Champ is coming back, Rocco Bowen is named to ride several horses over the weekend. Just adding to the strength of this jock’s room for sure.


By paulb

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