11/08/2017 12:56PM

Best Breeders' Cup jockey? You pick


It seems there were two jockeys of the week during the Breeders’ Cup – and they both ride in New York.

John Velazquez was voted top jock for his Breeders’ Cup exploits by the Jockey’s Guild, while Javier Castellano won the Shoemaker Award, which recognizes the top rider at the Breeders’ Cup and is determined by a point system.

The thing is, Velazquez was the only jockey to win more than one Breeders’ Cup race last weekend. Confusing? You bet.

The Shoemaker Award winner is determined by a 10-5-3-1 point system for first- through fourth-place finishes in the 13 Breeders’ Cup races.

Velazquez won the Grade 1 BC Distaff aboard Forever Unbridled on Friday and the Grade 1 BC Mile with World Approval on Saturday. He also won the Grade 2 Marathon on Destin and the Grade 2 Goldikova on Kitten’s Roar at Del Mar, but neither race counts in the point totals.

Castellano earned the Shoemaker Award by winning the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf on Rushing Fall. He also had a second, three thirds, and a fourth in Breeders’ Cup races to score 25 points.

He defeated Velazquez, Jose Ortiz, and Flavien Prat, who all had 23 points.

But this sport has always been about winning, not hitting the board. That’s why there is a winner’s circle ceremony after every race.

As competitive as Castellano is, you can be sure he would trade those seconds, thirds and fourths to have won another BC race. I bet Shoemaker would have, too.

The top BC rider should be the one who wins the most races. Maybe those second-, third-, and fourth-place points should be reserved strictly as a tie-breaker.