ELMONT, N.Y. – Belmont Park’s spring/summer meet wrapped up Sunday 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.
Michael Dubb emerged as leading owner with 12 victories.
Ortiz, who won the 2015-16 inner track championship at Aqueduct Racetrack as well as the 19-day spring meet at the Big A, finished with 78 winners of more than $5.7 million at Belmont, easily outdistancing his older brother, Irad Ortiz, Jr, who had 57 winners, and Manny Franco, who was third with 56.
Among Jose Ortiz’s biggest victories were the Grade 1 Mother Goose aboard Off the Tracks, the Grade 2 Peter Pan with Unified, the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay on Sea Calisi an d the Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational with Pure Sensation.
“I feel great. It’s really a good accomplishment to win this meet,” said Ortiz, who rode four winners on Sunday including Miss Freeze, who took the $125,000 Lynbrook. “It’s a tough meet because it’s the best. I’ve been blessed to keep myself healthy and I ride for a lot of good trainers and they gave me opportunities.I feel great about keeping the momentum going as we go up to Saratoga.”
Brown, the leading trainer on the New York Racing Association circuit in 2015, won at a nearly 29 percent clip, sending out 38 winners from 132 starters with earnings of $4.3 million. Finishing second with 25 winners was Todd Pletcher, with Linda Rice third with 22 wins.
Brown’s top victories included the Grade 1 Man o’ War with Wake Forest, the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan with Flintshire, the Grade 2 New York with Dacita and the Sheepshead Bay with Sea Calisi.
Thoroughbred action moves upstate to Saratoga Race Course on Friday for the 40-day summer meet, featuring 69 stakes worth a record $18.725 million and highlighted by the Grade 1, $1.25 million Whitney on August 6 and the Grade 1, $1.25 millionTravers on August 27. First race post time Friday is 1 p.m.
After Opening Weekend presented by NYRA Bets, racing will be conducted Wednesday through Monday.
For more information, please visit nyra.com.