First Titles for Camacho, Cox at Laurel; Gill Tops Owners

(from Laurel Park report)
Laurel Park's 15-week winter meet ended Sunday with jockey Eric Camacho, trainer Kenny Cox, and owner Michael Gill winning individual titles.

The 70-day meet began at Pimlico on Jan. 1 before live racing shifted to Laurel Park on Jan. 26. Weather caused the cancellation of four cards.

Camacho, a 21-year old apprentice, won 60 races, two more than Ramon Dominguez. Camacho won six times this week to come from behind. Dominguez, who rode at Keeneland Friday and Saturday, won twice in the final week.

"I am speechless. Words can't express the way I'm feeling," said Camacho, who becomes a journeyman rider early next month. "It was a battle to the end. Ramon and I have been going back-and-forth the last month of the meet. I am very honored to be in this position. My agent (John Salzman, Jr.) has done a great job and so many top trainers have supported us during the entire meet."

Cox also captured the first title of his career, winning 32 races, three more than John Rigattieri. The veteran conditioner saddled three winners on March 9 and had four two-win days. Twenty-nine of his victories were for Gill.

"Any time you have a shot to win a long winter meet like this, it's just huge," said Cox. "Early in the meet, you never think about these kinds of things. The last three weeks, it's been on my mind 24/7. No matter what ever happens down the road, it will be under my belt."

Gill reigned supreme in the owner standings for the 11th straight meet at the major Maryland tracks, finishing first 42 times. Since arriving in Maryland in October 2001, he has won 464 races at Laurel and Pimlico.