Garcia had 140 victories at Laurel Park and Pimlico in 2007 and captured the riding titles during the Pimlico spring and Laurel summer meets and won a career-best five at Laurel on October 8. The 23-year-old arrived in Maryland as an apprentice in 2003 and developed into a top five rider at the major Maryland tracks two years later. Horacio Karamanos (116) and Jeremy Rose (111) were the only other riders to win more than 100 races during the 180 live days at the major Maryland tracks this year.
“I have been knocking at the door for a couple so I am happy to be in the top spot,” said Garcia, who earned a career-best $4.3 million this year. “I enjoy what I am doing and ride every race like it is the last one. I work hard in the morning and will continue to try to get better. In this business you learn something new every single day.”
Lake saddled 113 winners at the major Maryland tracks during the campaign, 47 more than John Rigattieri. Lake captured the Laurel winter, Pimlico spring and Laurel fall training titles. The 42-year-old conditioner, who stables horses in Maryland, New York, Delaware, Florida, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, credits his assistant trainer.
“Hugh McMahon has done a phenomenal job in the barn,” said Lake, who is battling Steve Asmussen for the most victories nationally. “I like running in Maryland. The track surfaces at both Laurel and Pimlico are outstanding and management has been great to us. Having Robert Cole as an owner certainly helps as well. He makes it very easy to be successful in the state.”
Cole is the state’s top owner for the second consecutive year. Cole runners won 33 times from 120 starts, an impressive 27.5% rate. The Baltimore County native will finish third nationally in wins and ranks in the top 15 in earnings.