Florent Geroux Going West, Riding in Del Mar this summer

Contrary to the recent trend of California riders heading east, Florent Geroux will be riding in Del Mar this summer, according to his agent Doug Bredar.

Florent Geroux will sail west to Del Mar for this summer’s meeting on the Californian coast. (Picture: Coady Photography)

Bredar made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday morning. Geroux followed, retweeting Del Mar’s tweet that announced the jockey was “at the beach.”

Geroux spent the spring at Churchill Downs, where he finished fifth with 23 wins. He currently ranks seventh in earnings among jockeys nationally, with a check mark of over $7.65 million. Geroux wins at a clip of 16% in 2022 (58 for 356). His horses have hit the board 47% of the time this year.

Normally, Geroux spends his summers in Saratoga or Ellis Park, before returning to Churchill Downs and Keeneland in the fall. But Bredar told Horse Racing Nation that now is the time to head west.

Geroux didn’t want to get lost in Saratoga, be bored in Ellis Park

“We didn’t want to go to Saratoga. And Ellis Park is kind of Ellis Park – nothing wrong with that, but now when you run for the kind of scholarships we do at Keeneland and Churchill, it’s kind of a bummer,” Bredar told HRN . “Many, many Del Mar riders have asked us to ride through the years. We just felt it was a really good opportunity.

Geroux has been the rider of choice for Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox, so moving west exposes the French jockey to top West Coast conditioners such as Bob Baffert, Richard Mandella, Doug O ‘Neill, John Sadler, Phil D’Amato and Peter Miller. The latter holds the last two training titles of Del Mar.

Geroux’s loyalty to Cox means the jockey will miss the July 23 Del Mar card. Bredar told HRN he will be riding Cyberknife in the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park.

There could be more to the west

Bredar said BloodHorse Geroux’s summer on the California coast could portend future stints on the West Coast for the rider.

Geroux won the 2021 Kentucky Derby aboard Cox’s Mandaloun, which won the title when Medina Spirit was disqualified. He has seven Breeders’ Cup victories, including the 2017 Classic aboard Gun Runner and the 2018 and 2020 Cattails with Cox’s Monomoy Girl.

He has been in the top 10 earning for North American jockeys every year since 2016, with the exception of 2019, when he was 12th.

Clyde P. Johnson