Todd Pletcher

Todd Pletcher

Coady Photography

Pletcher, Ortiz, Dubb take Saratoga Titles

2017 Saratoga meet titles go down to the wire

The race for top trainer, jockey, and owner came down to the wire at Saratoga Race Course, with Todd Pletcher capturing his 13th H. Allen Jerkens trainer title, Jose Ortiz winning his second Angel Cordero Jr. riding title in a row, and Michael Dubb and his various partnerships taking his fourth straight owners title on the final day at the Spa.

Pletcher finished the meet with 40 wins, tying the record set last year by Chad Brown, who finished second in this year's standings with 39 wins.

"I've never won 40 and it's hard to do," Pletcher said. "I told Chad last year when he did it that it was a hell of an accomplishment. Those guys are tough to beat. We exceeded expectations and I'm proud of it."

Among Pletcher's wins were the Amsterdam Stakes (G2) with Coal Front and the Adirondack Stakes (G2) with Pure Silver.

"The whole team put a lot of work into it. I'm proud of the whole staff. Anthony Sciametta at Monmouth sent up winners and Byron Hughes from Belmont sent up winners. It was a big effort by everyone."

Linda Rice finished third with 16 wins.

In the first race of the Saratoga meet, Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard Indycott dueled down the stretch with his brother Jose Ortiz aboard River Date, winning by three-quarters of a length. The duel foreshadowed the competition the two would have for the whole meet. While Jose Ortiz lost that race, he won the war for leading jockey, capturing his second straight title with 58 wins.

"Just being able to be here and win races here is huge," he said. "To win leading rider for a second year in a row, I feel blessed and I just thank all trainers and owners that give me an opportunity to ride the horses and my agent, who has done a great job and worked really hard for me. The owners, the trainers, all the people on the backstretch, the grooms, exercise riders, hot walkers, without them I couldn't do this."

Victories in the Alabama Stakes (G1, Elate), the Longines Test Stakes (G1, American Gal), and the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap (Paulassilverlining) highlighted the meet for Ortiz, who also collected five wins on Aug. 21.

Jose's brother finished second with 53 wins. John Velazquez was third with 46 wins.  

Dubb and his various partnerships won the owners title for the fourth straight year. He had 15 winners this summer. Klaravich Stable and William Lawrence were second with 13 winners. Repole Stable and Midwest Thoroughbreds tied for third with nine victories.