Ricardo Santana Jr. to Miss Final Day Due to Illness
Oaklawn leading jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. won’t ride Saturday’s closing-day program because of illness, the rider’s agent, Ruben Munoz, said Saturday morning. Santana was named on 10 horses Saturday, including Bold Conquest (Arkansas Derby) and Tapiture (Oaklawn Handicap) for six-time Oaklawn training champion Steve Asmussen. Jockey Luis Quinonez picks up the mounts on both these Asmussen horses.
Munoz said Santana still hasn’t sufficiently recovered from the illness that has kept him off his mounts since Wednesday. The two-time Oaklawn leading rider rode the first race Wednesday, but collapsed returning to the jockeys’ room and then was admitted to CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs. The jockey was released from the hospital early Friday afternoon with the hope that he could return for the Arkansas Derby Day card.
“He’s better, but he’s not where he needs to be to ride,” Munoz said. “He’s angry at me, but I’m responsible for him. He’s not my jockey, he’s my little brother.”
Santana, 22, enters Saturday with a 53-51 lead in the jockey standings over Ramon Vazquez, who is also represented by Munoz. Santana also leads all jockeys at the meeting in purse money ($2,100,185).
Santana, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2013 and 2014, will ride at Churchill Downs following the Oaklawn meeting, Munoz said.
Champion Untapable emerged from her victory in Friday's $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) in good order, said Darren Fleming, who oversees trainer Steve Asmussen's Oaklawn division. Fleming said he isn't sure when Untapable will leave Oaklawn, but the 4-year-old Tapit filly is scheduled to join Asmussen's division at Churchill Downs.
“No plans yet,” Fleming said Saturday morning. “We may let her enjoy the Arkansas sunshine for a few days.”
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable won the Apple Blossom by 2 1/2 lengths under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. Untapable was the country's champion 3-year-old filly after winning 6 of 7 starts, including the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1).
On Saturday morning, a full-sister to Untapable was born at the Winchells’ farm near Lexington, KY.