12/07/2007 12:00AM

Meet-leading riders are lagging for bettors

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - This is a good time to get a handle on which jockeys are doing well at Turfway Park. Through Thursday night, jockey Victor Lebron leads the standings with nine wins. Fernando De La Cruz, Brian Hernandez, Jr., and Dylan Williams, are tied for second with six wins apiece.

How much money could you have won if you had bet on the horses ridden by these top jockeys so far during this meet? The answers might surprise you. Although Lebron has a clear lead in the standings, his win percentage is unspectacular at a shade lower than 16 percent, and his ROI is a bit lower than it should be after deducting the 17.5 percent parimutuel takeout at $1.51 for each $2 bet.

De La Cruz has won with 15 percent of his mounts, and owns only a mild $1.47 ROI.

Hernandez has an ordinary 13 percent win rate, but his horses have been significantly overbet while yielding a poor $0.92 return.

Williams has won with nearly 12 percent of his mounts, but he has not been a friend to win bettors with a low $1.21 ROI.

With the top four jockeys in the standings producing steady losses, where should bettors be looking to make money? Skimming through the rest of the standings, there are a number of good alternatives.

John McKee has won with 15 percent of his mounts, and deserves some extra credit since they haven't looked as strong on paper as the winners ridden by the jockeys higher up in the standings. McKee's $17.62 average win payoff has yielded a $2.67 ROI. And he has been consistent, getting 30 percent of his mounts to finish in the exacta.

James Lopez has had only 23 mounts so far at this meet, less than half as many as the leading jockeys, but he has been very productive with them. His five wins works out to nearly a 22 percent win ratio, and the average win payoff has been generous at $24.24. He has also been part of the winning exacta combination in nearly 35 percent of the races he has ridden.

Dean Sarvis has won with 5 of 28 mounts, which is nearly 18 percent winners, with a $2.61 ROI. But he has a high ratio of 5 wins vs. just 1 second-, and 1 third-place finish. He has been part of the exacta in only 21 percent of his races. It seems unlikely that he will win with five of his next seven horses that finish among the top three, so he may not be able to maintain that 18 percent win rate.

Mathieu Adam has won with 3 of his 19 mounts, nearly 16 percent, with at least one home-run longshot that has boosted his average win payoff to $49.33. Although he is a bit light in his exacta stats with just one second-place finisher, he shows three third-place finishes for nearly 37 percent participation in the trifecta.

Bill Troilo has 4 wins from 40 mounts, which is a 10 percent win rate, but he hasn't been riding many favorites. He has been effective at long odds with an average win payoff of $38.80. And he has been part of the exacta with more than 22 percent of his mounts.

Aldo Canchano shows 2 wins from only 15 rides, 13 percent. But those winners paid an average of $41.40, and he has been part of the exacta with 20 percent of his mounts. If you believe one of his horses has a chance to contend, include him in the exotics at what will probably be an attractive price.