Jaime Rodriguez named Guild’s Jockey of the Week

It’s a huge day,” said Jaime Rodriguez after completing a record-tying seven-win day on Friday at Laurel Park. Rodriguez also was the leading rider for the week in wins with a total of 11. Those achievements led the panel of racing experts to vote Rodriguez Jockey of the Week for March 13 through March 19.

The award recognizes jockeys for riding accomplishments and who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 1050 active, retired and permanently disabled jockeys in the United States.

Rodriguez won each of the first five races on Friday aboard Center Mid Maddie for Laurel’s leading trainer Jamie Ness, Albertano for Kieron Magee, Six the Hard Way for Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon, Big Cheeks for Jamie Ness and Pelota again for Jamie Ness before the streak was snapped in the sixth race.

He came back to win the seventh race with Semper Fi for Jamie Ness and finished his day with a win on Shaft’s Bullet for Gary Capuano. Rodriguez tied the record for most wins on a single card at Laurel with Horacio Karamanos and Chuck Baltazar.

“I was pretty happy when I won the first one,” said Rodriguez. “I thought that everything that I rode had a shot today. I give everything to anyone that I ride. I am so happy. It’s a huge day. Seven wins in one day? It’s impressive.”

On Saturday, Rodriguez continued his winning ways with a victory aboard Borracho for trainer Michael Gorham in the fourth race before guiding longshot Mavilus to a half-length win in the Conniver Stakes for trainer Carlos Mancilla. Unhurried in the early going of the seven furlong race for Maryland-bred fillies and mares, Mavilus unleashed a dramatic late run on the far outside to catch eight-time stakes winner Street Lute near the wire in 1:25.16. Mavilus paid $55.20 for the win.

“I knew there was a lot of speed in the race and wanted to get her comfortable,” said Rodriguez. “Finally, when I had time to take her out, she exploded in the clear.”

Rodriguez added two more wins on Sunday to complete the racing week with 11.

Rodriguez, 32, is a native of Puerto Rico and has been riding state-side since 2010. He rode primarily at Aqueduct and Belmont before moving his tack to Finger Lakes where he dominated the standings. He began riding in the mid-Atlantic region in 2020 and has won the Delaware Park riding title in 2021 and 2022. He currently sits atop the Laurel standings with 51 wins.

Other contenders for Jockey of the Week were Francisco Arrieta who won the Gr. III Whitmore at Oaklawn, Hector I. Berrios with a win in the Sensational Star at Santa Anita, Chantal Sutherland who won the Hutcheson at Gulfstream and Cristian Torres who won the Gr. III Essex Handicap at Oaklawn.