12/31/2014 5:26PM

Big Business caps Jacobson's year with stakes win

Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Big Business, trained by David Jacobson and ridden by Fernando Jara, edges Beautyinthepulpit to win the Alex M. Robb Stakes on Wednesday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Big Business put an exclamation point on another terrific year on this circuit for trainer David Jacobson by holding off a late run from Beautyinthepulpit to win Wednesday’s $100,000 Alex M. Robb Stakes by a head at Aqueduct.

The victory was the 133rd on the New York Racing Association circuit for Jacobson, who led all trainers in wins for a third straight year. (In 2012, he tied with Richard Dutrow Jr.)

“Great year,” said Jacobson, who trains Big Business for Gary Barber. “To end it like this, it was a great ending to 2014 and tomorrow we start all over again.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher was second on this circuit in wins with 99, followed by Rudy Rodriguez (98) and Chad Brown (97).

Earlier on the card, Storied Lady ran by Miss Da Point in midstretch, to win the $100,000 Bay Ridge Stakes, part of a four-win afternoon for jockey Jose Ortiz.

Ortiz finished 2014 with 230 wins on the NYRA circuit, second only to his brother Irad Ortiz Jr., who led all riders on this circuit with 278 wins.

But Irad Ortiz Jr. couldn’t rally Beautyinthepulpit past Big Business in the stretch of the Alex Robb.

For Big Business, it was his third win in 10 starts in 2014 and 11th from 33 in his career. He finished second five times in 2014, including a runner-up finish to Palace in the Grade 1 Forego and second-place finishes in four New York-bred stakes.

“It’s frustrating to have a horse like this who’s such a competitor and such a great horse to finish second, but in the races he’s been running in and horses he’s been running against it’s still very rewarding to be able to compete at that level,” Jacobson said. “When I got him he was running for $16,000.”

The complexion of the Robb changed when expected pacesetter Readthebyline didn’t break. He turned his head when the gates opened and got away last under Jose Ortiz. Readthebyline was chasing West Hills Giant with Big Business sitting third under Fernando Jara.
Readthebyline faded but West Hills Giant continued on. Jara set Big Business down in the stretch, and they overtook West Hills Giant inside the eighth pole then held off Beautyinthepulpit.

Big Business, a 6-year-old gelding by Eddington, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.33 and returned $7.10 to win.

Irad Ortiz Jr. said he might have been compromised by his outside draw on Beautyinthepulpit. He didn’t want to be caught too wide going into the first turn and had to take his horse farther back than he would have liked on this track.

* Storied Lady improved her record over the inner track to 4 for 6 by winning the Bay Ridge Stakes by two lengths over Miss Da Point. It was a length back in third to Macha, who was last early under Irad Ortiz Jr.

When asked about Storied Lady's penchant for success on the inner track, trainer John Hertler said, “She likes two turns, the short way around and she likes the footing."

Hertler also said the blinkers he added to Storied Lady’s equipment three starts back “turned her around a little bit.”

Jose Ortiz kept Storied Lady wide throughout, but he said he was following Miss Da Point, who he felt was the one to beat.

“By the half-mile pole I get in the clear very easily, and when I asked her to go she responded very well,” Ortiz said.

Storied Lady, a 3-year-old daughter of Read the Footnotes, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.05 and returned $14.60 to win.