In what is becoming routine at Pimlico during the five-week summer/fall meet, apprentice jockey Ryan Fogelsonger is making multiple, daily visits to the winner's circle.
On the afternoon of Oct. 2, the 21-year old tied a career high by riding five winners. Fogelsonger, who has 145 victories since May 24, came back a winner in the 2nd (Kilauea Girl--$3.80), 3rd (Erin's Quest---$5.80), 8th (Ribbon Cane---$2.60), 9th (Maypole Dance---$11.00) and 10th (Demetra's Love---$6.60).
"It is an amazing, awesome feeling," gushed Fogelsonger, who also rode five winners on Sept. 18.
With three days remaining in the meet, the 21-year old has more than doubled the win total of second place Mario Pino, 43 to 21.
Fogelsonger will be the fifth bug rider in the last 30 years to win a riding title at Old Hilltop. The other four are Hall of Famer Chris McCarron (1974), Ronnie Franklin (1978), Donnie Miller (1981) and Kent Desormeaux (1987). McCarron, Franklin, and Desormeaux won Eclipse Awards in their freshman year, while Miller rode Deputed Testamony to an upset victory in the Preakness (gr. I) two years later.
"This is a very elite group and I'm proud," said Fogelsonger, who has 12 multiple win days in the first 17 days of the meet. "It has sunk in but I still can't believe it. You don't know how to act or feel because it has come so quickly."
He is quickly creating a fan base in the Pimlico grandstand. After dueling fellow apprentice J.D. Acosta down the stretch in the eighth, he returned to the winners‚ circle to a rousing ovation.
"It is nice to have fans cheer for you," added Fogelsonger. "It makes you feel good."