04/24/2017 12:50PM

Irad Ortiz Jr. takes Aqueduct jockey title

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Barbara D. Livingston
Irad Ortiz Jr. won the spring riding title at Aqueduct with 30 victories.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Irad Ortiz Jr. won four races on the first day of the Aqueduct spring meet and kept winning in bunches, taking his first spring riding title with 30 victories, more than double that of runner-up Rajiv Maragh (14).

It was the first Aqueduct spring riding title for Ortiz, who had finished second the last three years, twice to his brother, Jose; Jose this spring rode primarily at Gulfstream and Keeneland.

Rounding out the Aqueduct top five were Angel Arroyo (12), Manny Franco (11), and Cornelio Velasquez (10).

Rudy Rodriguez won two races on Sunday’s card to finish tied with Linda Rice for leading trainer at the 17-day meet. Both won 12 races.

For Rice, it was her sixth training title on this circuit. Best known for her 2009 Saratoga title, Rice won the 2012 Aqueduct spring title and tied David Jacobson in 2011.

Rice had her 12 winners from 34 starters, while Rodriguez ran 66 horses at the meet. Chad Brown (8 wins), John Toscano (6), and Todd Pletcher (5) and Bill Mott (5) were next.

Rodriguez also was part of a four-way tie for leading owner. He won four races with horses he owned, equaling the number of wins recorded by Michael Dubb, Drawing Away Stable, and Midwest Thoroughbreds.