From The Blood-Horse
Irad Ortiz Jr. topped the year-end riding standings for the first time and David Jacobson secured his third consecutive training title on the New York Racing Association’s circuit in 2014.
The 21-year-old Ortiz won 278 races worth $18.6 million in 2014 during meets at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course. HIs victories included grade I scores aboard Sweet Reason in the TVG Acorn at Belmont and Test at Saratoga.
Ortiz picked up riding titles at Aqueduct’s inner-track meet, Belmont’s spring/summer meet—which he split with Javier Castellano—and Belmont’s fall meet.
“It’s great,” said Ortiz, Jr. “We’re blessed that the trainers and owners give us the opportunity. For next year, we’re just going to work hard and try to improve on this year.”
Irad’s brother, Jose Ortiz, was second with 226 wins, while Cornelio Velasquez finished third with 177.
Jacobson’s 133 wins dominated the trainer standings in 2014, more than 30 wins ahead of his closest competitor, Todd Pletcher. En route to his third consecutive title, Jacobson cleaned up at Aqueduct, where he won titles for the inner-track and fall meets.
Putting an exclamation point on the season, Jacobson sent out Big Business to victory in the last stakes race of the year—the $100,000 Alex M. Robb for New York-breds. He also captured the Toboggan (gr. III) with Candyman E, the Hollie Hughes with Be Bullish, the Tom Fool (gr. III) with Strapping Groom, and the Fall Highweight (gr. III) and Gravesend with Salutos Amigos.
“It’s a great ending to the year and tomorrow we have to start all over again,” said Jacobson, who also finished third in the owner standings. He earned purses in excess of $6.5 million as a trainer.
It was a photo finish for second in the 2014 trainer standings with Pletcher winning 99 races, Rudy Rodriguez taking home 98, and Chad Brown finishing with 97.
Michael Dubb was the leading owner with 75 wins and earnings of $4.4 million, well ahead of runner-up Drawing Away Stable (54) and Jacobson (42).