Rosario Continues Red-Hot Run With Graded Scores in G1 Longines Test and G2 Glens Falls

August 7, 2022

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Joel Rosario, the reigning Eclipse Award-winner as Outstanding Jockey, notched a graded-stakes double Saturday to bring his meet total to 10 just 18 days into the 40-day summer meet at Saratoga Race Course.

Other jockeys to reach double digits in graded wins during a Saratoga meet include Hall of Famers Jerry Bailey [10 in 2001], Javier Castellano [10 in 2016; 11 in 2015], and John Velazquez [11 in 2005].

Heading into Sunday’s card, Rosario’s 84 career stake wins at Saratoga put him in fifth position following Velazquez [197], Castellano [135], Bailey [110] and Irad Ortiz, Jr. [87] per Equibase statistics dating to 1976.

The 37-year-old native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, guided War Like Goddess to a smart score in her title defense in the Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls as the odds-on favorite in Race 7 and two races later piloted Chi Town Lady last-to-first for a 17-1 score in the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test.

“First off, we’re fortunate to be getting on the right horses and then he’s just making all the right decisions,” said Rosario’s agent Ron Anderson. “Like any athlete, they can get in a rhythm and in a groove, but if you start getting on the right ones, one thing leads to another, and it can snowball. It feels good. This is what you get up and work every day for.”

The lucrative double added to an impressive ledger that includes wins in the Grade 1 Diana [In Italian], Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap [Jackie’s Warrior], Grade 2 Shuvee [Clairiere], Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap [Kimari], Grade 2 Jim Dandy [Epicenter], Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame [Ready to Purrform], Grade 3 Forbidden Apple [City Man] and Grade 3 Quick Call [Big Invasion].

His graded winners include scores for six individual trainers and at distances from six furlongs to nine furlongs on dirt; and from 5 1/2-furlongs to 12 furlongs on turf.

Anderson said that variety showcases Rosario’s versatility, in particular, the gate-to-wire score with In Italian for four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown and his continued excellence aboard Jackie’s Warrior, the reigning Champion Male Sprinter for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

“He’s the complete package. People want to say maybe not speed – but look at Chad’s filly on the turf. Look at Jackie’s Warrior. He can do it all,” Anderson said. “He’s an exceptional rider and there are a lot of exceptional guys up here, so you better be on your game.”

One of those exceptional riders is Velazquez, also represented by Anderson, who has notched a record 48 Grade 1 wins at Saratoga and is within six victories of 1,000 career wins at the Spa to lead all riders.

Anderson said he is looking forward to the moment Velazquez, the co-chairman on the Jockeys’ Guild, hits the four-digit mark at Saratoga.

“I’m excited for him. There’s been a lot of big riders come through here. I worked for Jerry Bailey, so I know about big riders at Saratoga, but I’m sure that will be a big feather in his cap when that day comes,” Anderson said. “He’s another humble, unassuming type that the business needs more of. He works tirelessly for the other riders with the Guild. The effort he puts in on a day-to-day basis is incredible. He’s so dedicated to his fellow teammates that he rides with.”

The Longines Test score provided Rosario with his 16th Grade 1 win at the Spa, putting him on even terms with Hall of Famer Angel Cordero, Jr. and current meet-leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. according to Equibase statistics that date to 1976. The only active riders with more Grade 1 wins at Saratoga are Velazquez [48], Javier Castellano [37] and Mike Smith [29].

While Velazquez has set a high bar for Saratoga excellence, Anderson said Rosario has the skills, personality and professionalism to take aim.

“He’s so kind, considerate and has no ego whatsoever,” Anderson said. “I can’t even convince him that he was on the third best horse in a race [after a win]. He’ll say it was the horse. Most athletes, to a fault, will say it’s all about them. He has none of that. He’s just different. He’s the whole package.”

NYRA Press Office
Photo: Joel Rosario aboard Jackie’s Warrior after a victory in the True North (NYRA/Coglianese)

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