Tweet After watching the thrilling charges of Phil and Tiger this afternoon and remembering back when Mickelson had not yet won a major, I started thinking to myself, what jockey currently holds the title of "best jockey to never win a classic?" Let's just say the caption to the inset would answer the question with the following: "This Guy!"
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Johnny V got the monkey off his back (and his usual trainer Pletcher as well) at the 2007 Belmont with Rags to Riches, a race where Gomez had a pretty decent shot with a horse named Hard Spun, that he would also ride for the last time. Similar to when Mickelson was the best golfer to not win a major, winning all kinds of regular PGA events, Gomez has a lot of other big stakes races under his belt.
He is the leading jockey in earnings for the past three years, as well as the Eclipse Award winning jockey for the last two years. He is the best jockey in the world, bar none. But. He hasn't won the big one. Sure, he's won something like eight Breeders' Cup races, but no classics. Zero. Is this the year? Does he feel pressure to win the Derby? He has a major decision to make in choosing his Derby horse, as it appears based on the latest graded earnings at the TT website, that Pletcher's Dunkirk should sneak in the back door. I am going to bet he stays on Pioneerof the Nile for Baffert, but both would give him the chance to win it. Wouldn't it be something if he picked the wrong horse and the other won?
He turned 37 on New Year's Day, so his opportunities dwindle with each year that passes. He's done everything else there is to do, he's won the Kentucky Oaks, the Travers, the Bluegrass Stakes, the Santa Anita Derby, the Goodwood and the Cigar Mile. Not a bad list of races. You can bet he wants to add a Classic to that list, though. Let's hope he get's it off his back, just like Phil.