Pletcher, Velazquez, Gill Top 2004 Earners

Trainer Todd Pletcher, jockey John Velazquez and owner Michael Gill head the individual earnings lists for 2004 in North America, according to final statistics released Jan. 1 by Equibase Company LLC.

Smarty Jones topped all Thoroughbreds with 2004 North American earnings of $7,563,535, Following Smarty Jones was Ghostzapper with $2,590,000.

The year-end compilations, distributed each year by Equibase, include all Thoroughbred racing in North America.

Pletcher saddled 240 winners from 948 starters for earnings of $17,511,923. Bobby Frankel finished second with earnings of $15,605,911 from 135 wins and 491 starters.

Steve Asmussen, who set a record for North American trainers by winning 555 races from 2,293 starters, finished third in earnings at $14,004,202 (555 wins/2,293 starts). Next came John Servis, $8,922,686 (68/284); Bob Baffert, $7,627,913 (105/562); Richard Dutrow, Jr., $7,576,986 (166/603); Scott Lake, $7,420,036 (374/1,688); Dale Romans, $7,081,653 (109/580); Doug O'Neill, $7,004,827 (170/938); and Nicholas Zito, $6,967,792 (86/452).

Velazquez ended Jerry Bailey's run of three consecutive jockey earnings titles in 2004 with earnings of $22,248,661. Velasquez was aboard 335 winners from 1,327 mounts. Edgar Prado finished second with 281 victories from 1,445 mounts and earnings of $18,342,106.

Completing the list of top 10 jockeys by earnings were: Victor Espinoza, $15,933,757 (240/1,336); Stewart Elliott, $14,533,061 (262/1,363); Jerry Bailey, $14,503,844 (148/641); Javier Castellano, $13,038,943 (212/1,283); Corey Nakatani, $12,466,557 (220/1,080); Rafael Bejarano, $12,210,087 (455/1,922); Ramon Dominguez, $11,506,889 (383/1,353); and Cornelio Velasquez, $11,098,689 (240/1,593).

For the second consecutive year, Gill topped the North American leading owner's list in 2004 with earnings of $10,835,561. His color bearers won 487 of 2,885 races. Runner-up was Someday Farm, whose runners won 7 of 12 starts and $7,584,305.

Completing the list of top 10 owners by earnings were: Stronach Stables, $7,193,867 (109/507); Ken and Sarah Ramsey, $5,855,964 (84/361); Sam-Son Farms, $4,830,939 (47/260); Eugene and Laura Melnyk, $4,447,689 (93/453); Juddmonte Farms, Inc., $3,454,794 (35/113); Gary Tanaka, $3,112,187 (21/136); Robert and Beverly Lewis, $3,069,130 (50/263); and Robert Bone, $3,015,251 (113/353).

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