Julio Correa became the first apprentice jockey in six years to win a riding title at Laurel Park, finishing the 43-day summer meet with 35 wins. Correa won four races on Sunday’s closing-day card to better Trevor McCarthy–who had won four consecutive Maryland titles–by five races.
“I have to thank God first of all and all the trainers and owners and my agent for taking care of me and supporting me during the summer meet,” Correa, a 25-year-old native of Puerto Rico, said. “I’m really happy. I worked hard to make it happen, and it’s good for my career.”
Leading all apprentice riders in the country with 86 victories, Correa had eight multi-win days during the summer meet, including hat tricks July 18 and Aug. 8. He also finished first in mounts (176) and second with more than $900,000 in purse earnings.
“There’s a lot of great jockeys here, maybe the best jockeys in the Mid-Atlantic,” Correa said. “It’s really tough for me. I’m a bug boy. To beat Trevor, he’s a good guy and a great rider and he works hard in the morning. I’m very proud. The guys in the room support me and teach me. If I make a mistake, they give me a hand and I really appreciate it.”
Claudio Gonzalez was the meet’s leading training after saddling 24 winners. Smart Angle LLC and Joseph Besecker finished as the summer meet’s leading owners, tied at 10 wins apiece.