Bucking the recent trend of California riders heading East, Florent Geroux will ride at Del Mar this summer, according to his agent Doug Bredar.

Florent Geroux-Del Mar
Florent Geroux will bring his tack West to Del Mar for this summer’s meet on the California coast. (Image: Coady Photography)

Bredar made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday morning. Geroux followed along, retweeting Del Mar’s announcement that announced the jockey is “Beach bound.”

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

Normally, Geroux spends his summers at either Saratoga or Ellis Park before returning to Churchill Downs and Keeneland in the fall. But Bredar told Horse Racing Nation the time was right to head West.

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

“We did not want to go to Saratoga. And Ellis Park is kind of Ellis Park — nothing wrong with it, but now when you’re racing for the kind of purses that we do at Keeneland and Churchill, it’s kind of a letdown,” Bredar told HRN. “Many, many of the horsemen at Del Mar have asked us to go through the years. We just felt it was a really good opportunity.”

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

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

More could be going West

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

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

He’s been in the top 10 in North American jockey earnings every year since 2016 with the exception of 2019, when he was 12th.