Ramon Dominguez

Ramon Dominguez

Coglianese Photos

Belmont Title for Dominguez; Trainer Race Tie

Linda Rice, who got her 1,000th win, tied Todd Pletcher for leading trainer honors.

The jockey and trainer title chases for the Belmont Park spring/summer meet came down to the final two races on closing day, July 17, with Ramon Dominguez holding off a challenge by Javier Castellano to be leading jockey. Linda Rice won with her final starter of the meet to tie Todd Pletcher atop the trainer standings.

Dominguez, the 2010 Eclipse Award winner for outstanding jockey, had a six-lead following the July 15 card. Castellano responded by winning four races on Saturday and maintaining a 2-1 edge through the first nine races on Sunday.

Castellano, attempting to pick up a share of the title in the 10th and final race July 17, led in deep stretch aboard Ms Diller before Dominguez rallied in the center of the track aboard Aprilmayjune to clinch the crown.

Dominguez won 71 races during the meet, with 69 Castellano. Cornelio Velasquez was third with 50 wins.

It was the 14th NYRA meet title for Dominguez, who has topped the jockey standings at 13 of the 15 most recent meets at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course.

Pletcher entered the weekend with a two-race advantage before Rice registered a triumph on Saturday and won Sunday’s ninth race with Sextant, who gave the trainer a share of the title and her 1,000th career victory.

It was the second straight NYRA meet where Rice finished tied atop the standings, having deadlocked with David Jacobson this spring at Aqueduct. In 2009, she became the first woman to win a NYRA title when she took top honors at Saratoga.

Pletcher, a five-time Eclipse Award winner for outstanding trainer, has now won or shared 25 meet titles, including topping the Saratoga meet last year.

The leading owner was Flying Zee Stables, whose principle, Carl Lizza, passed away July 8. Flying Zee Stables clinched the owner title on Saturday with victories in race 5 with Take a Walk and Peace Now in race 7 and added a final victory with Money Magnet in Sunday’s fifth race to finish the meet with 16 wins.

The 143rd meet at historic Saratoga Race Course gets underway Friday, July 22.