Mike Repole, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez Top 2011 Saratoga Meet Standings
For the second consecutive year, owner Mike Repole, trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez finished atop the leader board at the prestigious Saratoga Race Course meet.
The race for leading owner between Repole and Michael Dubb came down to the wire, with Dubb tying Repole at 15 wins in dramatic fashion on Sunday afternoon when Grace Hall captured the Grade 1 Spinaway. The tie was short-lived as Repole won the next race on the card, a turf sprint with Silver Screamer, his final starter of the meet, for his 16th victory. Dubb was winless in three starts Monday, preserving Repole’s narrow advantage. Helped by his Grade 1 Travers victory with Stay Thirsty, Repole finished the meet with $1,485,280 in purse money.
Pletcher won his eighth Saratoga meet title and set a new season record, earning the H. Allen Jerkens training title with 38 winners. The previous mark was 36, which Pletcher set last year. His 149 starters in 2011 earned more than $3 million in purse money. Meet highlights included saddling Stay Thirsty to victory in the Travers, Hilda’s Passion to win in the Grade 1 Ballerina, Sidney’s Candy to score in the Grade 2 Fourstardave and Georgie’s Angel to take the Grade 3 Schuylerville on opening day. Saratoga’s Chad Brown finished 2nd in the trainer standings with 22 wins in just 74 starts.
Velazquez’s 54 winners at Saratoga in 2011 propelled him to second all-time leading rider at the Spa with 655 career victories. NYRA announced this summer that the Saratoga jockey title would be named after Hall of Famer Angel Cordero, Jr., agent and mentor to Velazquez. Cordero retired with 649 Saratoga victories and both he and Velazquez trail Hall of Fame rider Jerry Bailey who visited the Saratoga winner’s circle 693 times during his career.
Of Velazquez’s wins this summer, 31 came for Pletcher, and the rider carried Repole’s blue and orange colors for nine of those.