ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Manny Franco rocketed to the top of the spring/summer meet jockey standings by netting five victories on Saturday’s 11-race program at Belmont Park.
Franco, 26, made trips to the Belmont winner’s circle aboard Dr Post [Race 3, $4.80] Direct Order [Race 6, $5.10], Strafe [Race 8, $8.10], Three Technique [Race 9, $21.80], and Kiss and Run [Race 11, $6.70].
In stakes action, Franco piloted St. Elias Stable’s Dr Post to a victory in the Grade 3, $200,000 Westchester going a one-turn mile over the main track for trainer Todd Pletcher.
“It means a lot,” Franco said of his superlative day that saw him compete in every race. “The trainers and owners have supported me a lot. I’m just really happy with that. I try to do my best every time they give me the chance. That’s what I get up and try to do every day.”
In the Saturday finale, Franco piloted Kiss and Run to a victory for trainer Robert Falcone, Jr., where she repelled a challenge in the final strides to secure the win.
“I just tried to break and see if we could slow the race down in the second part of the race,” Franco said. “I think that was the key. When they went the half in 47 and 3, I think that’s how I got it done.”
The five-win day put Franco ahead of all other riders with a dozen victories this meet. He has a one-win lead over Irad Ortiz, Jr., who was at Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby Day.
Belmont Park Press Release by Ryan Martin
Photo: Manny Franco (NYRA)