Jockey Jose Ortiz defeated his brother Irad Ortiz, Jr. 24-17 to come out on top of standings for Aqueduct's 11-day spring meet. Leading trainer Chad Brown recorded 10 victories, while his owner Peter Brant tied Orlando and Jonathan Noda's Noda Brothers with four wins to share the owner's title.
“It's a big deal,” Ortiz said. “We're happy with where we are and it sets us up for the Belmont meet… It's nice to win and I'm also happy for Irad; he's had a great start of the year. He congratulated me earlier and said he's proud of me, and that means a lot.”
Irad Ortiz currently leads all jockeys in the nation by wins and purse earnings.
“I'm very appreciative; it was a long winter just preparing for this meet,” said Brown, the New York Racing Association's leading trainer for the last six years. “Our program is tailored around NYRA, mostly, just getting the horses ready all winter. After missing a lot of last year, this year's start has been more traditional for us. It feels good and gives us a sense of normalcy to get back on track with how we point our horses to begin their seasons in April in New York.”
Racing on the NYRA circuit now moves to Belmont Park for the 48-day spring/summer meet that runs from Thursday, Apr. 22 through Sunday, July 11.