Ortiz, Jr., Pletcher, Klaravich Stables earn Aqueduct fall meet titles
by Ryan Martin
Irad Ortiz, Jr. led all riders at the 15-day fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack to earn his eighth riding title at the Big A. Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher compiled 13 wins, leading all trainers through the fall meet, with Klaravich Stables claiming the title as leading owner with five wins.
Ortiz, Jr., 29, finished the meet with a record of 76-21-7-12 and earnings of more than $1.44 million, winning at a 27.63 percent clip. He garnered five stakes victories during the Big A fall meet including a triumph aboard Peter Brant’s Serve the King in the Grade 2 Red Smith on November 20 as well as the Key Cents when piloting the Pletcher-trained Classy Edition.
On Saturday, Ortiz, Jr. added three more stakes victories to his ledger when piloting the Brad Cox-conditioned Lady Rocket [Grade 3 Go for Wand], as well as Mo Donegal [Grade 2 Remsen] and Nest [Grade 2 Demoiselle] to their respective wins for Pletcher on Cigar Mile Day.
Despite not riding in New York on Sunday, Ortiz, Jr., who was in his native Puerto Rico to ride at Camarero, maintained his lead over all other riders, with Jose Lezcano and Luis Saez tying for second with 17 wins apiece.
Pletcher scored five stakes wins during the meet, spearheaded by Americanrevolution capturing the Grade 1 Cigar Mile presented by NYRA Bets. In addition to his trio of Cigar Mile Day scores, he saddled Repole Stable’s Never Surprised to victory in the Gio Ponti on November 26 and Classy Edition in the Key Cents.
Pletcher boasted a ledger of 52-13-8-7 for the meet with earnings in excess of $1.55 million, while winning at a 25 percent clip. It was his first Aqueduct fall title since 2018, when he tied with Rudy Rodriguez with a dozen victories apiece.
“We’ve had a good fall,” Pletcher said. “We had a solid Belmont meet and we were fortunate enough to have a good Aqueduct meet as well so we’re thankful. The main thing is you just want the horses to perform to their capabilities. We’re fortunate enough to train horses like these. You want to do the best you can with them and it’s gratifying to see them do so well.”
Pletcher finished two victories ahead of both Christophe Clement, who captured the 2020 fall meet title at the Big A, and Chad Brown, who won this year’s Saratoga and Belmont fall titles.
Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables captured their fourth owner title on the NYRA circuit this season when taking the Aqueduct fall meet title for the second straight year.
Last year, Klaravich Stables tied with Repole Stable for the 2020 fall meet, each owner earning five wins apiece. Klaravich Stables mimicked that amount of victories this fall meet, which included maiden scores with the Chad Brown-trained Inflation Adjusted, Core Conviction and Marketsegmentation.
Klaravich Stables, NYRA’s overall leading owner for the past two years, exited the fall meet with a 17-5-0-5 record and purse earnings of nearly $260,000. Michael Dubb and Repole Stable tied for second with four wins each.
Live racing resumes on Thursday when Aqueduct will kick off the 56-day winter meet which runs through Sunday, March 27. The winter meet will feature 46 stakes races worth nearly $6 million in purses. First post on the eight-race card is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the fall meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.