Castellano, Ortiz, Jr., and Pletcher win spring/summer meet titles; Dubb top owner
By Sean Morris | 07/13/2014 06:53 PM ET
Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Javier Castellano
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.