08/07/2010 4:54PM

Mott gets 4,000th win as a trainer

Barbara D. Livingston
Bill Mott talks with the media after winning his 4,000th race as a trainer on Saturday at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Bill Mott added another accomplishment to his Hall of Fame career Saturday when he became just the ninth trainer in Thoroughbred racing to record 4,000 winners in North America. The milestone victory came when Mystic took the seventh race at Saratoga, a first-level allowance race on turf.

Mott, 57, joined a club that includes Dale Baird, Jack Van Berg, King Leatherbury, Jerry Hollendorfer, Steve Asmussen, Scott Lake, Richard Hazelton, and D. Wayne Lukas.

“Big number; I guess to some extent it’s an elite club and I’m happy to do it,” Mott said afterward. “I thought we might have to wait until the end of the month; you know the way you get hung up on these things you get to the last one and sometimes you have to wait. I’ve seen it happen with numerous jockeys, ballplayers, whatever.”

That the historic victory came at Saratoga is somewhat fitting, considering Mott has shared or won nine training titles here.

“I’m glad it happened here,” he said. “This is a very special place to have it happen, and I’ll always remember it.”

Mott entered Saturday ranked fifth all time on the earnings list, with $185,007,325.

The son of a veterinarian, Mott began training in the early 1970s and worked for Van Berg as an assistant for a few years in the mid 1970s, before going out on his own for good in 1978. His career highlights include back-to-back Eclipse Awards as the nation’s leading trainer in 1995-96, the years he trained Cigar to 16 consecutive victories.

Mott has won 363 graded stakes and this year won his first Triple Crown race when Drosselmeyer took the Belmont Stakes.

Mott was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 at the age of 45, making him the youngest trainer to achieve that honor.

Mott said a lot of people had a part in his 4,000 career victories.

“It’s not me that got 4,000 winners, it’s the entire crew whether it’s past assistants and grooms and hotwalkers and riders and such a multitude of owners,” he said. “It’d be easier to name the ones that weren’t part of it as it would be to name the ones that were part of it because I’ve had so much help along the way.”