There were familiar faces atop the New York Racing Association’s cumulative standings in 2017 as Irad Ortiz, Jr. earned his third year-end riding title, Chad Brown secured his third consecutive training title and leading owner Michael Dubb won his fourth straight year-end title on the circuit.
Ortiz, 25, won 296 races for more than $19.7-million in purse earnings in 2017, achieved at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga. Among his accomplishments this year, the Puerto Rican native rode Lady Eli (Divine Park) to victories in the GI Diana S. and the GII Ballston Spa S. at Saratoga, Diversify (Bellamy Road) to a gate-to-wire score in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and New York-bred Bar of Gold (Medaglia d’Oro) to a 66-1 upset in the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Along the way, Ortiz picked up individual riding titles at Aqueduct’s inner track, spring and fall meets, as well as Belmont’s Fall Championship meet. Manny Franco was second in the standings with 184 wins, while Jose Ortiz, Irad’s brother and leading rider at the Belmont spring/summer and Saratoga meets, was third with 181.
Brown, 39, saddled 148 winners, 27 ahead of his closest competitor, Rudy Rodriguez with 121. Linda Rice was third with 113 victories. Brown’s NYRA runners earned over $15.8 million.
The 2016 Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Trainer, Brown picked up six of his 16 Grade I wins in 2017 in New York. Those tallies included Practical Joke (Into Mischief) in the GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S. and Beach Patrol (Lemon Drop Kid) in the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, as well as Lady Eli’s three graded stakes wins.
Dubb’s 72 winners put him atop the year-end owner standings for the sixth time in eight years. Also pacing owners in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Dubb closed the year with $4.9 million in purse earnings at NYRA tracks.