Irad Ortiz Jr. added another riding crown to his résumé when he secured the Aqueduct Racetrack 2017 spring meet title following closing day April 23.
- By Claire Novak
Wake Forest (GER) was given plenty of time to recover from his 2016 campaign by trainer Chad Brown, and the 7-year-old runner rewarded that patience March 4 with a narrow victory in the $200,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2T) at Gulfstream Park.
Page McKenney drew post 3 in the General George and shares a 122-pound highweight impost with Heaven's Runway and Stallwalkin' Dude.
Heaven's Runway rallied from the far outside and overtook favorite Stallwalkin' Dude in deep stretch for his first graded stakes win in the $200,000 Fall Highweight (gr. III) Nov. 24 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Michael Dubb was securely perched atop the owner's standings to lock in the 2016 Belmont Park fall meet owner's title.
The New York Racing Association concluded its 2016 season at Saratoga Race Course with all-sources handle of $647,322,503, virtually even with last year's record wagering that had shattered the previous high water mark by more than 10%.
Freud, New York's current leading sire, gained his 50th black-type winner Aug. 26 when Fourstar Crook won the $150,000 Yaddo Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares at Saratoga Race Course.
Belmont Park's spring/summer meet wrapped up July 17, with jockey Jose Ortiz winning his third straight individual title on the New York Racing Association circuit and trainer Chad Brown earning his first at the 54-day meet.
Weaving through horses in the stretch under John Velazquez, Wake Forest displayed a powerful late kick to surge past rivals in the final furlong to win the $400,000 Man o' War Stakes May 14 at Belmont Park.
Big Blue Kitten, the champion older turf male of 2015, headlines a field of 13 for the 29th running of the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) May 7 at Churchill Downs.
Mechanicville, N.Y., native Chad Brown earned his first year-end NYRA training title, while jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. earned his second consecutive riding title.
Former claimer Zen Papa will face graded stakes-placed King Kranz in the $125,000 Lost In The Fog Stakes for 3-year-olds when Aqueduct Racetrack begins the new year Jan. 1.
Irad Ortiz Jr., currently second nationally in money won and fourth in victories, tallied his 1,000th North American win Nov. 22 when piloting Michael Dubb's Island Therapy to victory in the fifth race at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Making his stakes debut Saturday, Nov. 14 on the turf at Aqueduct Racetrack, Mr Maybe used a sustained rally to deliver a decisive victory in the $250,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Saratoga Race Course's meet concluded Sept. 7 with Todd Pletcher winning his sixth straight training title, and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. landing his first while Michael Dubb repeated as leading owner.
Royal Posse dug in deep and turned back a game rival in pacesetter Saratoga Snacks to win his stakes debut, the $100,000 Evan Shipman Stakes for New York-breds at Saratoga Race Course.
The top two finishers from the Sanford Stakes (gr. III), Uncle Vinny and Magna Light, will meet again Monday, Sept. 7 in the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
The top three finishers from the May 25 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park will meet again July 3 in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes.
The board of directors of the New York Racing Association met under the leadership of new board chair Michael Del Giudice for the first time June 24 in New York City.
Slumber caught the rest of the field napping in the $1 million Knob Creek Manhattan Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park and kicked home to win in dramatic fashion by 2 3/4 lengths.
The $750,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I), for 3-year-old fillies at a mile, drew a well-heeled bunch that includes three unbeaten fillies.
Critics Acclaim, the dam of grade I winner Rosalind, died May 24 after delivering a full brother at Hurstland Farm near Midway, Ky. She was 20.
The connections of Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopeful Condo Commando passed on a trip to last year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park and have a fresh, strong contender at Churchill Downs.
Condo Commando, the 3-5 favorite, was an easy winner of the $300,000 Gazelle Stakes (gr. II) April 4 at Aqueduct. The 3-year-old filly covered the nine furlongs in 1:52.17.
As snowflakes began to fall at Aqueduct Racetrack Feb. 21, heavily favored Condo Commando opened her 3-year-old campaign with an impressive front-running victory in the $100,000 Busher Stakes.
After opening 2015 with a fifth-place finish in the Affectionately Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack, two-time grade I winner Belle Gallantey will try to bounce back in her second start of the year Jan. 31.
Irad Ortiz Jr. topped the year-end riding standings for the first time and David Jacobson secured his third consecutive training title on the New York Racing Association's circuit in 2014.
Odds-on choice The Lewis Dinner and 16-1 outsider Chasing Bubbles, both by Posse, were victorious in a pair of New York Stallion Series divisions for state-bred 2-year-olds Dec. 28 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
New York-bred juveniles took center stage Dec. 14 at Aqueduct Racetrack with a pair of impressive performances by Good Luck Gus in the $100,000 Damon Runyon Stakes and Freudie Anne in the $100,000 East View Stakes.
Rudy Rodriguez passed the Nov. 2 Tempted Stakes (gr. III) with Condo Commando to wait for the $400,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II), and his patience paid off as she crushed her opposition at Aqueduct Racetrack Nov. 29.
Jockey Manuel Franco won both $100,000 stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds on Nov. 16 at Aqueduct aboard offspring of Posse.
When speedy Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) hopeful Belle Gallantey arrived at Santa Anita Park Sunday it actually marked a return to California for the veteran of 43 races.
After sharing the spring/summer Belmont meet title with Javier Castellano, Irad Ortiz Jr. made sure he was alone atop the fall leaderboard by winning seven races on closing weekend.
Native Bombshell shook off the rust after a year's absence, coming from off the pace to get up by a neck over favored Disco Barbie in the $139,006 Ontario Fashion Stakes (gr. III) Oct. 19 at Woodbine.
In a movie, Belle Gallantey's rags to riches 2014 season would end with a victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), but in real life her connections are taking time before committing to the race.
Good Luck Gus took the $252,098 New York Breeders' Futurity Oct. 4 at Finger Lakes, securing his first stakes score for trainer Rudy Rodriguez.
Former claimer Belle Gallantey continued her grade I success Sept. 27, taking the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park in a wire-to-wire romp.
The New York Racing Association reported attendance spiked during the 40-day summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, which also experienced a decline in wagering.
Condo Commando took all of the drama out of track announcer Tom Durkin's final call when she romped to victory in the $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) over a sloppy track at rainy Saratoga Race Course Aug. 31.
The Belmont Park spring/summer jockey title went down to the wire July 13 when Irad Ortiz Jr. got up in the final jumps of the last race of the meet to tie Javier Castellano at 51 wins.
Belle Gallantey, a $35,000 claim just seven months ago, lulled rivals to sleep on the front end and then carried on to upset the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. I) July 12 at Delaware Park.
While Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course were topics at the meeting, conversations about nearly every major issue facing NYRA will be affected by what happens to Aqueduct Racetrack.
Aqueduct's Comely Stakes (gr. III) drew a field of 10 3-year-old fillies for a run at graded black type...and a $400,000 purse.
Speedy frontrunners set the $100,000 James Marvin Stakes (gr. III) up perfectly for Michael Dubb and Gary Aisquith's Sage Valley, who closed from off the pace to take the 7-furlong sprint July 19 at Saratoga Race Course.
Running for the first time in 2013, Michael Dubb's Sage Valley earned his fourth straight victory when he took the $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course May 18.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission license review committee April 16 recommended Rudy Rodriguez conditionally be approved for a license in the state. Rodriguez will be required to maintain 24-hour sureveillance.
Six weeks after the official start of the search for a chief executive officer for the New York Racing Association, chairman David Skorton indicated that the board is not close to naming Ellen McClain's successor.
My Happy Face, runner-up in the 2012 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) and winner of that year's Tempted Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack, is off the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) trail with a virus contracted at Gulfstream Park.
Few want anything to do with Besilu Stable's 5-year-old champion Royal Delta as she preps for a start in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) Feb. 17 at Gulfstream Park.
Benefiting from a patient ride, Head Heart Hoof took control leaving the turn and held off a tenacious rally by Johannesburg Smile to win the 120th renewal of the Toboggan Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack Feb. 2.
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