Irad Ortiz Caps Aqueduct Riding Title With Five-Win Day On Sunday

Irad Ortiz, Jr. capped off his domination of the jockey standings during Aqueduct Racetrack's 2016-17 inner-track meet with a five-win day on Sunday's closing day, while trainer Rudy Rodriguez and owner David Jacobson proved uncatchable as the runaway winners of their respective titles.

Well-positioned atop the jockey's standings going into the final card of the Big A's winter meet with a 15-win lead over Manny Franco, Ortiz did not rest on his laurels. Instead, the 24-year-old native of Puerto Rico romped through the stretch run to register five victories on closing day.

Ortiz kicked off his win streak with a natural hat trick as My Ekati Cat (No. 5, $6.20), Readthebyline (No. 1, $3), and Control Group (No. 9, $3.60) all delivered as the post-time favorites in Races 4-6. Ortiz, without a mount in Race 7, picked up where he left off in Race 8, finding the winner's circle with Smile Big (No. 5, $3.30) and took the final race on the inner track with Melodramatic Miss (No. 8, $7.80).

“I had a very good day,” said Ortiz. “I have to thank God as well as all the trainers and owners who give me an opportunity, also my agent who is also doing a great job.

“It's a great accomplishment. I've been fortunate to be put on a lot of winners by owners and trainers this meet,” he continued. “I do my work and they give me good chances with good horses so thanks to them.”

Overall, Ortiz rode 76 winners from 281 mounts for more than $3.5 million in purse earnings with a 27% win rate during the inner-track meet, which began December 7. The title is the 11th on the NYRA circuit for the jockey.

Among Ortiz's victories on the inner track were back-to-back stakes wins aboard Grade 2 Gazelle-bound Yorkiepoo Princess, who won the Ruthless on January 14 and the Busher February 25. Ortiz. also piloted Stallwalkin' Dude to a two-length victory over Green Gratto in the Gravesend on December 18. Ortiz.

Manny Franco finished second in the standings with 56 winners from 332 mounts, while Kendrick Carmouche rounded out the top three with 53 wins from 269 mounts.

The Rodriguez barn ruled the 2016-17 inner meet to pick up his second straight inner meet training title, and seventh overall individual meet title on the NYRA circuit, with 49 wins from 201 starts, 18 more than runner-up Linda Rice.

Winning at a 24.4% clip for nearly $2.1 million in purse earnings, Rodriguez recorded four three-win days during the inner-track meet and a four-win day on February 2. Rodriguez, a former jockey who took out his trainer's license in 2010, also won the 2016 Aqueduct spring and fall training titles outright and tied Chad Brown for top honors in the 2016 Belmont fall meet.

Rice closed out the inner-track meet with 31 winners from 130 runners for earnings of $1.3 million.

David Jacobson, tied for third among trainers with Chris Englehart with 20 wins, stood solo at the top of the owners' standings with 14 winners from 62 starts, six ahead of Chester and Mary Broman, Sr. with eight from 48 runners. Midwest Thoroughbreds earned third-place honors with eight wins from 37 starters.

The post Irad Ortiz Caps Aqueduct Riding Title With Five-Win Day On Sunday appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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