Hernandez in Control; D’Amato, Baffert Tied Again

August 17, 2023

Juan Hernandez aboard Kid Corleone after winning the Santa Anita Feature Allowance June 16 (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Del Mar Stable Notes by Jim Charvat

DEL MAR, Calif.— With a shake of the reins and a crack of the whip, Juan Hernandez has once again seized control of the jockey standings at Del Mar.  In his quest to win his third meet title, Hernandez won four races on Saturday and then three more on Sunday to increase his total to 22 and jump ahead of Umberto Rispoli and Hector Berrios by seven victories.

All of this despite sitting out a total of four days serving suspensions. Hernandez missed opening day for a whip violation while winning the G2 Great Lady M on closing day at Los Alamitos. Then he was assessed another three days this month for a riding infraction when his horse cut off the race favorite, Twilight Gleaming, in the Daisycutter on July 28.

Hernandez has ridden 77 mounts and is winning at a 29% clip, far exceeding the other jockeys. He’s also had eight seconds and 13 thirds for a 56% in the money rating.

Umberto Rispoli and Hector Berrios continue their duel for second with four wins a piece last week and are tied at 15. The three top riders have all exceeded $1 million in earnings.

Ramon Vasquez (11) and Antonio Fresu (10) round out the Top Five. They’re followed by Edwin Maldonado (9); Tiago Pereira (8); Kent Desormeau and Antonio Aguilar (six each), and Joe Bravo (5).

Bob Baffert (Benoit Photo)

The trainers’ race is a lot closer as Philip D’Amato and Bob Baffert are tied with a dozen victories apiece even though Baffert has half as many starts as D’Amato. The top two trainers, who tied for the summer meet title last year, both had two victories last week. One of Baffert’s wins came in the G3 Best Pal with the talented 2-year-old Prince of Monaco last Sunday.   

Both have exceeded $1 million in earnings so far this season.

Phil D’Amato (Benoit Photo)

Peter Miller (9), Doug O’Neill (8), and Peter Eurton (7) round out the top five in the trainer standings after four weeks of racing.

Reddam Racing and Red Baron’s Barn or Rancho Temescal are tied for the lead in the owners standings with three wins each.


Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes says Prince of Monaco and Muth, the one-two finishers in last Sunday’s G3 Best Pal, came out of the race in good shape. While trainer Bob Baffert has not announced any definitive plans for his pair of 2-year-olds, most Best Pal winners return to try the G1 Del Mar Futurity on closing day…

Notable works this week, all on the dirt


Spirit of Makena (4f, :49.20)
Taiba (4f, :48.80)
Brickyard Ride (5f, 1:00.40)
Defunded (5f, :59.00)
Faiza (6f, 1:12.40)


Fun to Dream (3f, :38.00).


Justique (5f, :59.80).

Bus Buzz (4f, :48.80) 
Irideo (4f, :48.60). 

@PastTheWire I got out with Dupree @OaklawnRacing on backend of DD that paid 7-1. Nice pick!

Greg Kilka @GKilka View testimonials