Charles Town jockeys: Alternate stats

by | Mar 11, 2017 | Breaking, Racing, Top Stories, West Virginia, WV Racing

Racing at Charles Town. Photo by Coady Photography.

by Frank Vespe

Thinking about jockey and trainer stats the other day, we came up with a metric combining wins, win percentage, and earnings per start into one handy-dandy number. It doesn’t tell you who the best jockey is — there are too many variables for that. But it might tell you who’s having the best year.

We turned the new metric loose on Laurel Park to see what we might find, and the results, while in some ways predictable, also generated a few surprises.

For example, Julian Pimentel — sixth on the colony’s earnings list and tied for fifth in wins — came out atop the list in this number, edging Trevor McCarthy, who leads the colony in wins and total earnings.

And on the trainer side, while meet leader Claudio Gonzalez topped this new list, it was red-hot Jonathan Maldonado — 21st by total earnings — who was second, and Graham Motion (15th by earnings) was in fourth.

So, we thought, let’s turn our attention to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. As a reminder, this number only compares jocks at one track to jocks at the same track, and a perfect score is 300. Here, as of just prior to this week’s racing, is the list of jocks with 25 or more starts at the track, ordered by our new metric:


11Jose Montano3002729.67%$4,269.10
24Arnaldo Bocachica246.43851826.09%$3,921.13
32Christian Hiraldo214.41182417.65%$2,819.56
43Antonio Lopez207.38081918.27%$3,220.45
55Gerald Almodovar193.74841418.92%$3,335.57
68Oscar Flores168.35831317.33%$2,637.89
711Jarred Journet164.53351317.57%$2,440.91
810Darius Thorpe151.53481315.29%$2,213.09
96Victor Rodriguez149.16651613.01%$1,966.56
1015J. D. Acosta147.9027717.95%$2,624.77
117Luis A. Batista139.12781412.07%$1,989.36
1216Carlos Marrero135.9831918.00%$1,792.30
139Wesley Ho135.46371212.90%$2,029.13
1412Jan C. Batista133.45061113.41%$2,027.72
1513Fredy Peltroche115.06581010.99%$1,749.98
1614Guillermo Rodriguez87.8862568.00%$1,652.19
1717Joseph Schneider85.2533979.86%$1,114.17
1818Yamil Rosario83.7873538.33%$1,903.58
1920Wilfredo Santiago76.896548.89%$1,371.36
2019Gustavo Larrosa69.0641358.06%$997.48
2122Jerry Villegas51.7980525.56%$1,095.72
2227Javier Rivera12.6430500.00%$539.74
2336Caroline Quast9.37948200.00%$400.42

What’s it tell us?

For one thing, 2017 has so far been the Jose Montano Show. Montano leads the colony in wins, winning percentage, and earnings per start. All of that translates to a perfect 300 score and a spot atop the list of Charles Town jocks.

In second, with 246 points, is Arnaldo Bocachica. He’s one of four jocks here with more than 200 points, and one of five in the top 10 to be ranked higher here than they would be by earnings; he’s fourth by earnings. Others to outstrip their earnings to date include Oscar Flores, bug rider Jarred Journet, Darius Thorpe, and J.D. Acosta.

Acosta was perhaps the biggest mover in the group. Though just 15th in earnings and possessing only seven wins at the West Virginia track, he rose to 10th by this measurement. The rise came on the strength of his high winning percentage and strong earnings per start. The only riders with a better strike rate than his 17.9 percent so far this year all reside in the top five in this rating, and the only ones with higher per-start earnings than his $2625 finished in the top six.

You can also use this metric to examine trainer stats. Here are the 28 Charles Town trainers with at least 18 starts this season.


11Jeff C. Runco276.50062823.93%$3,749.42
22Ollie L. Figgins, III242.85711227.27%$4,224.64
33James W. Casey237.97931226.67%$4,112.44
49Ernest M. Haynes201.5578525.00%$3,888.10
55Timothy C. Grams200.8761921.95%$3,728.05
610Anthony M. Rideoutt II194.4053627.27%$3,083.00
77Kevin J. Joy181.89451025.00%$2,303.00
84Ronney W. Brown141.22961113.75%$2,176.84
96John D. McKee135.4209913.64%$2,250.80
1018Crystal G. Pickett129.9264316.67%$2,454.56
1120M. Joanna Boggs128.1818418.18%$1,995.27
1219Javier Contreras117.7046315.00%$2,196.40
1312John C. Carlisle113.783312.00%$2,495.44
1424Russell E. Davis104.3017313.64%$1,841.41
1513John A. Casey103.212528.70%$2,711.61
1621Jack L. Harper90.6616429.52%$2,053.10
1727Mike E. Butts90.16381210.00%$1,958.30
1822Donald W. Shuler85.7108529.09%$1,911.00
1915Timothy M. Collins84.25208410.53%$1,325.26
2037Rhea M. Pennella84.09528312.00%$1,241.24
2133Hubert Gaffney72.3030939.68%$1,102.84
2226Gerald A. Coker, Jr.60.9521626.45%$1,273.87
2355Sandra A. Dono46.6536415.00%$1,045.55
2453Alex A. Correa40.4940714.17%$914.42
2577Mark A. Shanley15.9764600.00%$674.95
2667William L. Aylor, Jr.14.5278800.00%$613.75
2788William E. Straughn9.70315600.00%$409.92
28110Stacey R. Viands8.46175200.00%$357.48

While the top three — Jeff Runco, Ollie Figgins, James W. Casey — are all names one would expect, there are others in the top 10 by this metric that might surprise.

Though both Ernest Haynes and Anthony Rideoutt are in the top 10 by earnings — at ninth and tenth, respectively — they jump up several spots to fourth (Haynes) and sixth in this metric. And Crystal Pickett leapfrogs several trainers to land at tenth here.

All three were relatively light on total wins, but all had well above average per-start earnings and win percentages.