American Sailor
Jaime Rodriguez. Photo HoofprintsInc.com.

While Jaime Rodriguez usually rides between Delaware Park and Parx, last week he added Pimlico and Penn National posting an impressive 10 wins from 26 mounts to be voted Jockey of the Week for July 19 through July 25. The award, which is voted on by a panel of racing experts, is for jockeys who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 active riders in the United States as well as retired and permanently disabled jockeys.

A native of Puerto Rico, Rodriguez attended the famous Escuela Vocacional Hipica jockey school and has been riding state-side since 2010. He rode primarily at Aqueduct and Belmont before moving his tack to Finger Lakes in 2012 where he dominated the standings while also riding at Mahoning Valley.  In 2020, with Finger Lakes delaying their meet because of Covid-19 restrictions, Rodriguez decided to come to the Mid-Atlantic region. The move has paid dividends. 

Last year, his first riding at Delaware Park, Rodriguez won 56 races for third in the standings. He rides first call at Delaware Park for leading trainer Jamie Ness. “If I got a closer, if I got a runner, a turf horse, it really doesn’t matter,” Ness said speaking to The Racing Biz. “He’s not a one-dimensional rider. I just think he does everything right.”

Rodriguez rode the Ness-trained The King Cheek to a win in the Sir Barton Stakes this year at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard. “That was an experience,” Rodriguez said. “To win with a horse on Preakness day, that was amazing.”

Rodriguez notched his 1,000th winner on February 21, 2018 at Mahoning Valley.  He currently sits atop the standings at Delaware Park with 43 wins. Together with girlfriend, trainer Amber Cobb, he has two children. “I want to try my talent in different environments,” said Rodriguez in an interview with The Racing Biz. “See how good I can go.  I want to fly high and be proud, you know?”

Rodriguez’s statistics for the week were 26-10-5-2 for a 65% in-the-money percentage and $188,460 in purses.

Other nominees for Jockey of the Week were Victor Carrasco with two stakes wins, Jose L. Ortiz who also won 10 races including two stakes races, Flavien Prat with two stakes wins and Ricardo Santana, Jr. who won the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks.