Delta jockey earns national weekly honor

Gerard Melancon aboard Bellarmine

The 2014-15 thoroughbred racing season is officially over at Delta Downs and what a final week it was for veteran rider Gerard Melancon.

Melancon, who owns multiple records at Delta including most wins in a season, won 10 races in four days with six second place finishes and two thirds in 24 mounts and was voted by the Jockey Guild as the National Jockey of the Week for March 16.

The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives from America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, the Jockeys’ Guild, the Paulick Report, the Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.

One of the 10 wins came about Bellarmine in the $75,000 Borgata Stakes on March 14. After battling with School Spirit for half a mile, the 5-year-old Kentucky bred took off and won by 2 lengths to cover 1 mile in 1:39.10. Trained by Tom Amoss for owner Loooch Racing, Bellarmine won for the seventh time in 23 outs for earnings of $274,405.

A native of Scott, La., Melancon had 77 wins on 278 mounts this season and led all riders with seven stakes wins. He currently ranks 52nd on the all-time winningest jockey list with 4,344 wins. He is the only two-time winner of the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot.