Jockey Manny Franco earned the 2,000th victory of his career Sunday at Aqueduct when guiding the Chad Brown-trained Spirit of St Louis to a half-length score in the day's second race.
“I feel great,” Franco, who also won the day's opener, said. “I had that on me the whole week, so I'm glad to do it early. I'm a little calm now and happy to do it. I just let him do what he wanted to do because I know the pace wasn't fast in front. I just kept my position and he was there for me the whole way.”
Franco, 28, won three races at the Belmont at Aqueduct meet finale Sunday to secure his third NYRA riding title of the year. Franco earned 34 wins at the stand to take a three-way battle for the riding title over Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Jose Ortiz, who tied for second with 31 wins.
Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown won his 30th training title at a NYRA meet and 12th consecutive Belmont fall title when leading all trainers with 28 wins, giving him back-to-back meet titles after tying with Linda Rice at this year's Saratoga meet.