Why Jockeys Matter?
Jockeys are pivotal for a couple of different reasons in a horse race. First, jockeys are responsible for positioning horses once the gates open. This may include getting them to the lead or dropping them into the proper position based on the horses preferred run style.
The second responsibility that jockeys have is to help the horse understand when to rate their energy and when to run. A jockey with a bad internal clock can leave his horse with too much to do late or chase after a pace that is way too fast for his horse.
The final role of the jockey is steering the horse into the path that will allow them to have the strongest finish to the wire. For all of these reasons having a good jockey on the horse you’re backing can be a great asset for any horse player.
Why is the Top Jockey Tool Helpful?
Horses can be upgraded or downgraded based on their jockeys, but many people will look at the overall percentage of a jockey and make their decision. However, jockeys tend to be specialists. There are very few that excel over all surfaces and distances. The DHP top jockey tool can help you break down jockeys by track, surface, condition, distance, level, and post position to better determine how they are likely to impact the horse’s race.
Using the Top Jockey Tool for a Race
To use the top jockey tool follow the steps below:
Change the drop down menus to match any or all of the conditions for the race you are handicapping.
- Track: Different tracks have different configurations. A jockey with success at the track could mean that they have a better understanding of how to ride there as opposed to riders who more recently shipped in.
- Surface: Dirt and turf races are run in exact opposite dynamics. A good gate rider is likely to upgrade a horse on dirt because the race tends to reward early speed. Conversely on turf the best riders are good at knowing when to time their acceleration as the horses tend to run the fastest in the last part of the race.
- Condition: This factor plays the biggest role when the ground is not fast or firm. A lot of tracks will drain water in different ways and a jockey with a good score on an off track could suggest they know how to avoid tiring paths on the track.
- Distance: Horse races are often classified as either sprints (less than 8 furlongs) or routes (one mile and over). However, dynamics can change dramatically depending on the various lengths within each of these categories.
- Race Types: Not all horses are the same. Knowing how a jockey does in a particular condition can be very important. For example, a gate rider might be better in a maiden race because those horses haven’t learned to win and may be hesitant to pass other horses. If you have a jockey that can get to the lead in these races that may suggest they can steal the race. A jockey who performs well in stakes races may suggest the jockey know how to get the most out of talented horses.
- Barriers/Post Positions: Post positions can also be a vital factor in picking your jockey. Riders with success in post 1-3 are typically good at getting horses out quickly so as to avoid horses trying to merge down closer to the rail and avoid ground loss. Riders better in outer posts may be more adept at getting horses positioned correctly behind speed horses for a final run to the finish.
Once you have set any or all of the filters, select the “Refresh Charts” button to see the updated data which reflects your race.
Using the Top Jockey Tool for an Individual Jockey
While the top jockey tool is extremely effective for looking at all the jockeys side by side, another useful tool is looking up an individual jockey.
This can be done from the top jockey charts. Simply find the jockey you want to look up and click their name. You will now see a report of their rating and percentages at every one of the filters from the top jockey tool.
Using this view you may be able to identify spots where you can beat a high percentage jockey. For example, the leading rider in the country Irad Ortiz Jr. is rated “Great” in most categories, except when his horses break from posts 10+. From these posts he is rated as “Poor”.