leading trainer

Espinoza, Wong Top Recently Concluded Golden Gate Winter/Spring Meet

Jockey Assael Espinoza and trainer Jonathan Wong were leaders in their respective divisions at the recently concluded 2023 Winter/Spring meet at Golden Gate Fields. Assael Espinoza won the most races out of any rider with 93 trips to the winner's circle from 419 starts, equating to a 22%-win rate while his mounts finished in-the-money 56% of the time. "I'm very thankful for all the owners and trainers who have given me an opportunity to ride their horses," said Espinoza. "Ever since I got to Golden Gate, people have been really...

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Rodriguez, Ness Earn Laurel Winter Meet Titles, Spring Meet Begins Apr. 1

Heading into Friday's closing day winter meet card, Jaime Rodriguez and Jamie Ness appear poised to top the jockey and trainer divisions for Laurel Park's concluding Winter Meet. Rodriguez, 32, holds an 11-win advantage over five-pound apprentice Jeiron Barbosa in the rider standings, 58-47, with eight races remaining. Rodriguez is named in four races Friday, while Barbosa is named in six. It will be the first riding title in Maryland for Rodriguez, who also leads with $1.9 million in purse earnings from 209 mounts. He led the Delaware Park standings...

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Records Close Out Keeneland's Fall Meet; Breeders' Cup Next

Keeneland concluded a record-breaking fall meet Saturday with all-sources handle of $208.9 million, a season record for the Lexington track. The 17-day fall meet ran from Oct. 7-29 with Kentucky racing scheduled to switch over to Churchill Downs Sunday prior to returning to Keeneland for the Breeders' Cup Nov. 4-5. The all-sources wagering of $208,907,655 was a 15.41% increase over the 2021 fall meet record of $181,009,626. It was the fourth consecutive season of record handle at the track. The numbers do not include whole-card simulcasting at Keeneland. "This fall...

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As Saratoga Meeting Looms, Trainers Pletcher and Brown Are Ready to Fight for the Title

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--For the last dozen or so years, the competition for the training title at Saratoga Race Course has become the Todd and Chad Show. The next round of the now-annual summer showdown of heavyweights in upstate New York between Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown begins Thursday, the opening day of the 154th season of racing at Saratoga. Pletcher, 55, the all-time leader, will seek his 15th championship, named to honor the late great H. Allen Jerkens. Brown, 43, who just completed a record-smashing Belmont spring/summer season, is seeking...

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O'Brien and Moore Sweep to New Milestones

It was a week of milestones. Eighty Royal Ascot winners for Aidan O'Brien and seventy for his main jockey Ryan Moore. But with this particular pair the counter never really sits still, and by the end of five days and 35 races, the trainer had boosted his tally to 81 - just one shy of Sir Michael Stoute's record - while Moore clocked off on 73, three behind current leader Frankie Dettori. A far more telling statistic for the head of the vast Ballydoyle training operation was that the victory...

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Woodbine Wraps with Casse, Kimura, Barber Titles

With a record closing day handle of $8,530,593, Woodbine's 2021 Thoroughbred meet concluded Sunday with meet titles for trainer Mark Casse, jockey Kazushi Kimura, and owner Gary Barber. Casse secured the leading training title with 110 wins from his 539 starts and earnings of $8,189,186. Martin Drexler trailed in second by wins with 56. It was Casse's 13th time atop the Woodbine leaderboard and his 27 stakes victories at the Toronto oval in 2021 were 19 more than his closest rival. Casse, who is a member of the Hall of...

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Aqueduct Fall Meet Concludes with Ortiz, Jr., Pletcher, Klaravich Titles

Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, and owner Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables wrapped up Aqueduct's 15-day fall meet with the titles in their respective divisions Sunday. Ortiz, Jr. earned his eighth riding title at the Ozone Park track with a fall record of 76-21-7-12, a 27.63% win rate, and earnings of over $1.44 million. His five fall stakes included three on Saturday: the GII Remsen S. with Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo), the GII Demoiselle S. with Nest (Curlin), and the GIII Go For Wand S. with...

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Maker Barn Sprints to Early Spa Lead

Mike Maker, with 42 training titles at Kentucky's five racetracks, is very much a contender this summer for the coveted prize at Saratoga Race Course. A remarkable stretch of nine wins from 25 starters last week pushed Maker to the top of the table with 14 wins in the first 14 days of the 40-day season. He had at least one winner in each of the five racing days of the week and his stable hit the board at a 72% rate. That run of success enabled Maker to finish...

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Mahoning Valley Closes Season on a High

The 2020-21 racing season at Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley Race Course came to a record-setting close last Saturday. The 2020-2021 season concluded with an average handle per race of $121,770, a 4.43% increase in average handle per race over the 2019-2020 racing season. During the 2021 Winter/Spring meet portion of the racing season, average handle per race came in at $131,411 with the wagering highlight coming Mar. 29. In a mandatory payout of the Buckeye Jackpot Pick 6, which had grown to $343,876, the single day handle record was shattered...

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Ward By a Nose in Turfway Trainers' Race

When Fitri Hay's Zipaway (City Zip) took a $5,000 maiden claimer at Turfway Park Mar. 21, it gave trainer Wesley Ward a tiebreaking 19th winner from 53 runners and secured leading trainer honors at the meet, cut short by Governor Andy Beshear's directive to close non-essential businesses in the coronavirus outbreak. Ward's victory left Mike Maker on 18 winners from his 70 starters. It was the third consecutive title for Ward at the winter/spring meet at Turfway. He also shared the top spot with Maker during the 2018 holiday meet....

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Connections of Bricks and Mortar Win Eclipse Awards of Their Own

The connections of newly crowned champion Bricks and Mortar all took home Eclipse Awards of their own in their respective categories. Irad Ortiz, Jr. continued the domination of he and his brother with a second-straight Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey of 2019. The 27-year-old native of Puerto Rico took home the hardware last year, following in the footsteps of his younger brother Jose, who received the award for his 2017 season. The Ortiz brothers completed the North American exacta in 2019 by money won--Irad's mounts racked up $34,109,019 with 324...

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