Castellano shines at Spa; Pletcher, Ortiz Jr., take titles
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) Javier Castellano didn't win the jockey title at Saratoga Race Course, although he may have done even better by becoming the first rider to sweep four of the top Grade 1 races at the Spa.
Castellano's biggest win came in the Travers, when he guided Keen Ice to an upset of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah on Aug. 29. The nation's leading earner among riders also won the Whitney (Honor Code), the Woodward (Liam's Map), and the Alabama (Embellish the Lace).
''I think I had the best meet ever in my career,'' Castellano said. ''I didn't win the title but I won all the big races. It was amazing.''
Todd Pletcher won his sixth straight training title and 12th overall. Irad Ortiz, Jr. won his first Spa riding title, and Michael Dubb repeated as leading owner with 12 wins.
Pletcher had 34 wins; Chad Brown, who led for most of the summer meet, had 31.
The 23-year-old Ortiz had 57 wins to Castellano's 53. Ortiz's top wins included the Test and the Prioress with Cavorting, the Lake George with Mrs McDougal and the Hall of Fame with Takeover Target.
''It's a dream come true to win a title in Saratoga,'' Ortiz said.
Castellano finished his sensational meet on Monday's closing card, winning the Hopeful for 2-year-olds aboard Ralis and the Bernard Baruch with Ironicus.
''I feel great,'' Castellano said. ''It's a good record and I'm proud to be participating at the best track in the country.''