Jockey Switch


The jockey switch is one of the most ignored trainer moves in all of sports. I can’t imagine Baseball, Football, Hockey or Basketball not going over personal switches and comparing each players statistics and questioning Why did management change players. The only sport that does not discuss personal moves is Horse Racing. The fun of handicapping is the people in racing, the Jockeys and Trainers. I have been calculating statistics for over 25 years. I have detailed stats on all of them and I feel as if I know all of the jockeys and trainers personally even though I view them only thru a betting statistic.

The jockey switch was first really explained well by Mark Cramer when he explained the Class drop Jockey shift. Mark tried to tell us that a switch to a higher percentage jockey and dropping in class is a significant factor as a bet and Mark was correct. Here are the jockey switches today at Santa Anita.

Race 1
# 1 Trainer P. D’Amato switched to Joe Talamo who is 65-31-48% in the exacta from Tyler Baze who is 38-12-36% in the exacta. A switch from a go-to jockey from a go-to jockey.

# 6 Trainer Richard Mandella has a go-to jock on this first time starter with Mike Smith 30-12-40% in the exacta. The problem is Mandella on Debut 1 in a Route race at Santa Anita is 16-0, no hits in the exacta.

Race 2
# 2 Trainer Jeff Mullins switched from Cory Nakatani who is 3-2-66% to Tyler Base who is 138-40-29%,  At 7/5 odds, this is a no play for me.

# 4 Trainer Mathew Chew switched from E. Roman who has 0 races to Tiago Pereira who is 12-6-50% in the exacta. At 5/2 he could be a play however, I like big stats, with a lot of tries and wins so I’ll pass the race.

Race 3
# 5 Trainer Bob Baffert has three runners in the race. Baffert at one time supplied jockey Martin Garcia with a ten year supply of hits in one year. Martin Garcia had 270-110-41% in the exacta at Santa Anita. Baffert has Victor Espinoza on his runner today and they are 29-12-41% in the exacta.

Race 4
# 2 Trainer Peter Miller switched from Victor Espinoza 58-26-45% to Flavien Pratt 13-4-31%. What will prevent me from betting is only 13 starts.

# 7 William Spawr switched from Tyler Baze who is 23-11-48% in the exacta to Mike Smith who is 14-4-29% which will prevent me from betting for the same reason as Peter Miller.

Race 5
# 3 Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer switched from Drayden Van Dyke who is 29-3-10% to E. Roman who is 14-7-50% in the Exacta. He cashed 7 with Roman and 3 with Van Dyke.  I need more stats before I make a bet.

# 6 Trainer Kristin Mulhall switched from Tyler Baze who is 22-3-14% to Martin Pedroza who is 52-20-38% in the exacta, a go-to jockey switch however the horse has nocks against it as a play.

Race 6
# 1 Trainer Peter Miller switches from Tyler Baze who is 88-42-48% in the exacta to Flavien Pratt who is 33-15-45%. A go-to to go-to.

# 7 Trainer Bob Baffert switched from Rafael Bejarano who is 91-34-37% in the exacta stats in sprints to Drayden Van Dyke who is 5-1-20%,

# 10 Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer switched from Joe Talamo who is 11-6-55% to Rafael Bejarano who is 138-68-49%. In this race Rafael ended up on trainer Hollendorfer horse instead of Baffert’s.

Race 7
Has no significant jockey switches.

Race 8
# 7 Trainer John Sadler switched from Victor Espinoza whose exacta route stats are 107-41-38% to Flavien Plat who is 6-2-33% in the exacta.

# 8 Trainer Doug O’Neill switched from Mario Gutierrez who is 225-67-30% to Rafael Bejarano who is 101-35-35%. A go-to to a go-to jock.

Race 9
# 1 Trainer Richard Mandella switched from Joe Talamo who is 19-6-30% to Flavien Prat who is 95-36-38% in sprint exacta stats, his go-to jockey.

# 8 Trainer John Sadler switched from Flavien Prat who is 6-4-67% to Tyler Baze who is 57-22-39%, and one of his go-to jockeys.

#9 Trainer Mark Glatt switched from Tyler Baze who is 52-18-35% to Kent Desormeaux who is 9-2-22% in the exacta.

I will take Race 9 # 8 John Sadler switching from Flavien Prat to Tyler Baze 57-22-39% in the exacta.
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2 Replies to “Jockey Switch”

  1. A high percentage of jockey changes are not a switch..In most cases it occurs because a jockey is committed to another horse he has also ridden before and the trainers cannot retain him for another ride on the horse…I don’t put alot of stock in a jockey change when they are the caliber of most of the jockey colony at S.A.. all these jockeys are good…if you are not you wont be riding there very long.

    1. Most trainers have go-to jockey’s. When one can’t ride they switch to another. It was a surprise to me when I first did the Jockey-Trainer stats how the big name jockey’s only really hit for a small group of trainers. It is the non- go-to jockeys where the danger is as a bettor and you have to know if the trainer gives this jockey a horse that could hit the exacta. Jockey Switch is about as important as you can get to understand the intent of the trainer. It is the statistics that gives you the edge on jockey switches. Maybe I over simplified it to show how jockey switches work, but it is still a matter of go-to. You can have a top of the line jockey like Irad Ortiz and he can be 1 for 31, 3% at Aqu in sprint races with Gary Gullo. That doesn’t mean he is going to hit for Gary Gullo because he is a great jockey.

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