OZONE PARK, N.Y. — Manny Franco rode three winners on Monday’s eight-race card at Aqueduct, closing out a year in which he led all jockeys in wins on the New York Racing Association circuit with 244. It was his first NYRA single-year riding title.
Chad Brown won his fourth NYRA year-end trainer’s title with 154 wins while Michael Dubb won his seventh owner’s title in the last nine years with 68 victories.
Franco was the leading rider at the 2018 Aqueduct winter and fall meets. But his biggest victory in 2018 came at Belmont Park. where he rode Discreet Lover to a 45-1 upset in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
“I’m very blessed and very happy with the year I had,” said Franco, who finished 41 wins in front of Irad Ortiz Jr, who in 2017 won 297 races onthe NYRA circuit, 113 more than Franco.
Brown’s 154 wins on the NYRA circuit — six more than in 2017 — included seven of his 20 overall Grade 1 victories in 2018. Brown won meet titles at Aqueduct (spring), Belmont (spring/summer and fall) as well at Saratoga, where he set a single-meet record with 46 victories.
“It’s been a great year,” Brown said. “My staff did an unbelievable job and I’m thankful for my loyal clients and all the good horses I’ve had the opportunity to train.”
Brown’s NYRA highlights included Grade 1 victories by Sistercharlie (Diana), Complexity (Champagne), Patternrecognition (Cigar Mile), Separationofpowers (Test), A Raving Beauty (Just a Game), Wow Cat (Beldame), and Fourstar Crook (Flower Bowl).
Rudy Rodriguez, who won two races Monday at Aqueduct, finished second at NYRA with 115 wins.
Dubb won 68 races on the NYRA circuit, teaming with Brown to win the Grade 1 Flower Bowl with the New York-bred Fourstar Crook. Dubb also won the Acorn and Coaching Club American Oaks with the likely 3-year-old filly champion Monomoy Girl.