by Heather Pettinger
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and trainer Chad Brown wrapped up the Aqueduct Racetrack season with respective three-win days on Sunday to secure top honors for the spring meet at the Big A. Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stable emerged as leading owner for the 13-day meet.
Ortiz and Brown teamed up to win the $100,000 Memories of Silver, the final stakes race of the spring meet, with Significant Form. Ortiz also won Race 4 with Son of Mine and Race 5 with Major League to register his second straight spring meet title at the Big A. Brown also trained Inflexibility to victory in Race 1 and Long Haul Bay in Race 9.
Named top rider at NYRA in 2017, the 25-year-old Ortiz led all jockeys with 24 wins and more than $1.2 million in earnings to record his 12th individual meet honors on the NYRA circuit. Manny Franco, fresh off his first leading jockey title for the Aqueduct winter meet, was second with 17 wins, six more than Junior Alvarado in third.
Among Ortiz's biggest victories in April were the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap with Holiday Disguise and the $100,000 Plenty of Grace with the Brown-trained Uni.
Brown, 39, saddled 15 winners from 39 starters. The title is the 11th at an individual meet for the Mechanicville, New York native, who won back-to-back Eclipse Awards as Outstanding Trainer in 2016-17. Linda Rice was second with 11 wins, while Rudy Rodriguez was third with nine.
Klaravich Stable led all owners with six victories from 11 starts. Wachtel Stable was second with four wins.
Thoroughbred action continues on Friday at Belmont Park for its 54-day spring/summer meet, highlighted by the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 9.
First post time is 1:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11:30 a.m.