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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Pletcher, Castellano repeat as Saratoga meet leaders; Dubb top owner

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 - Updated: 8:33 AM

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Todd Pletcher and Javier Castellano repeated as the leading trainer and jockey, respectively, at Saratoga Race Course, with Michael Dubb emerging as the top owner for 2014.

Pletcher, 47, won 28 races, turning back a late challenge from Chad Brown, who had 23 victories. Hall of Famer Bill Mott was third with 13 wins.

It was the fifth straight H. Allen Jerkens training title for Pletcher, who has been the Spa's leading trainer a total of 11 times. This year, Pletcher swept the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks and Grade 1 Alabama with Stopchargingmaria and also posted graded stakes wins with Competitive Edge in the Grade 1 Hopeful and Fashion Alert in the Grade 3 Schuylerville.

"I thought we had a really good start to the meet. I thought we had some really big disappointments at the meet; way too many seconds," said Pletcher. "At the same time you cannot not be grateful anytime you come to Saratoga and win 26, 27 races, win the Hopeful, Coaching Club, Alabama and Schuylerville. No matter how good you do, it could always be better, no matter how bad you're doing it could always be worse."

Castellano edged Irad Ortiz, Jr., 58-53, to claim his second consecutive Angel Cordero, Jr. riding crown. Hall of Famer John Velazquez was third with 38 wins.

On August 23, Castellano piloted V. E. Day to a nose victory in the Grade 1 Travers, becoming only the fifth rider in history to win the Travers four times. He also won the Grade 1 Ketel One King's Bishop with The Big Beast on the Travers undercard, the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama aboard Stopchargingmaria for Pletcher, and the Grade 2 Toyota Saratoga Special with I Spent It.

"It worked out great. I'm very blessed," said Castellano. "I'm thankful to win a lot of races here in Saratoga where I compete against the best jockeys in the country. It's a big accomplishment. I had a lot help. All the trainers gave me the support, all the owners. Now I'm going to be driving to Long Island tonight with a happy face."

Dubb and his various partnerships won 14 races, including the Grade 1 Spinaway on August 31 with Condo Commander. It was the first Saratoga title for Dubb. Repole Stable was second with 12 wins and Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey and Chester and Mary Broman tied for third with 11.

-- Staff report

     

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