Jockey wins last race of meet to tie for Belmont title
Jul 18, 2014 | 870 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cornelio H. Velasquez rode Grand Rapport to the winner’s circle in the first race of the day, 1 1/18 miles on the turf for a $54,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
Cornelio H. Velasquez rode Grand Rapport to the winner’s circle in the first race of the day, 1 1/18 miles on the turf for a $54,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
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Easy Living and Joel Rosario (on the rail) took the second race of the day, one mile on the Belmont dirt with a $62,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
Easy Living and Joel Rosario (on the rail) took the second race of the day, one mile on the Belmont dirt with a $62,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
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Petrocelli under John R. Velazquez (inside) were victorious in the third race of the day over 1 1/16 miles for a $62,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
Petrocelli under John R. Velazquez (inside) were victorious in the third race of the day over 1 1/16 miles for a $62,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
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Samuel Jimenez jockeyed Sand Paper to a win in the fifth race of the day. A six-furlong affair on the dirt that carried a $41,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
Samuel Jimenez jockeyed Sand Paper to a win in the fifth race of the day. A six-furlong affair on the dirt that carried a $41,000 purse. (Photo: Michael O'Kane)
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The Belmont spring/summer jockey title came to a thrilling conclusion when Irad Ortiz, Jr. got up in the final jumps of the last race of the meet to tie Javier Castellano at 51 wins. Meanwhile, Todd Pletcher padded his resume with another training title.

Castellano, who also won the 2013 Belmont spring/summer meet title, earned Grade 1 scores in the Knob Creek Manhattan aboard Real Solution and the Longines Just a Game aboard Coffee Clique.

The Grade 3 Poker rounded out a trio of graded stakes wins at the meet, which Castellano won aboard the Pletcher-trained Jack Milton, one of 12 victories the two shared.

Irad Ortiz, Jr. captured a bevy of stakes races, including the Grade 1 Acorn (Sweet Reason), Grade 3 Dwyer (Kid Cruz), and Grade 3 Bed O’ Roses (Hot Stones), to go along with wins in the Perfect Sting (Joy), Dancin Renee (La Verdad), Wild Applause (Walk Close), Easy Goer (Kid Cruz), Jersey Girl (Red Velvet), Wonder Again (Sea Queen) and Paradise Creek (Green Mask).

Joel Rosario finished third with 42 wins, and Jose Ortiz, Irad’s younger brother, finished fourth with 41.

Pletcher cruised to the finish on Sunday with a four-win advantage, besting Chad Brown 28-24. A blend of promising juveniles and salty veterans helped provide Pletcher with another meet title.

The trainer unveiled a slew of debut winners, including the Mike Repole-owned Nonna’s Boy, and scored a signature win in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap with Palace Malice, the winner of last year’s Belmont Stakes.

Christophe Clement, who won the 2014 Belmont Stakes with Tonalist, finished third with 21 wins.

Michael Dubb dominated the owner’s standings by winning 11 races, four more than his closest competitor.

Racing will resume Friday, July 18 at historic Saratoga Race Course.
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