Ortiz, McMahon Capture Laurel Park Winter Meet Titles

Ortiz, McMahon Capture Laurel Park Winter Meet Titles

Yomar Ortiz and Hugh McMahonLAUREL, MD., 03-30-13---The Laurel Park winter meeting ended today with apprentice rider Yomar Ortiz and veteran trainer Hugh McMahon winning individual titles. The 50-day stand began at the central Maryland track on January 1.

Ortiz topped the jockey standings with 57 first place finishes, six more than fellow apprentice Trevor McCarthy. The 21-year-old had 16 multiple win days during the meet, including four three-win afternoons.

“It was a battle until the end,” Ortiz said. “Trevor McCarthy was winning races at a high rate and it wasn’t settled into the last couple days.”

Maryland-based apprentice riders have captured nine of the 42 Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Apprentice with Chris McCarron (1974), Ronnie Franklin (1978), Alberto Delgado (1982), Allen Stacy (1986), Kent Desormeaux (1987), Mike Luzzi (1989), Mark Johnston (1990), Jeremy Rose (2001) and Ryan Fogelsonger (2002) all being honored. The last dominating apprentice in the state was Rosie Napravnik, who won 279 races during her bug year (2005-2006).

Ortiz won races for 19 different trainers, including 16 for McMahon, who topped the trainer standings with 34 winners, 17 more than Mike Trombetta and Juan Vazquez. McMahon, a former rider and longtime assistant to Scott Lake, won races at a 32% rate.

“Amazing,” McMahon said. “I was speaking to someone this morning about people winning at such a ridiculous rate. You don’t ever think that is going to be you. I am thankful to be in this place. We have been blessed.”

The McMahon barn had seven multiple win afternoons, including three win days on January 19 and February 6. Stolen Chevy and St. John’s Gospel each visited the winners’ circle three times. The latter has finished on the board in 14 of his last 15 races with eight victories.

“That one has a sweet spot in my heart because of the name. It is my favorite book in the Bible which had to do with why I claimed him,” added McMahon. “It seems we have a bond and it has been nice to see his form reversal.”

The Jim Stable (King Leatherbury) topped the owner standings with 12 victories. Leatherbury finished fourth in the trainer standings with 15 winners from 64 starters.

Live racing shifts to historic Pimlico Race Course on Thursday, April 4 for the 36-day spring meeting, headlined by the 138th running of the $1 million Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, on May 18. First post for opening day is 1:10 p.m.


Debt CeilingThe first race for 2-year-olds in Maryland this year was won today at Laurel Park by Debt Ceiling in impressive fashion. The son of Discreet Cat broke well, took the lead at the quarter-pole and pulled away down the stretch to beat seven other juvenile runners by 4-1/2 lengths.

The Jerry Robb trainee completed the 4-1/2 furlong distance in 53.71 seconds and paid $6.40, as the second betting choice.

John Salzman, Jr., who was looking for his fifth consecutive score in the initial juvenile race in the state, finished off the board with 7-5 favorite Take Time to Pray (sixth) and Crowned Warrior (seventh).

About Laurel Park

Laurel Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.