Velazquez, Pletcher defend Saratoga titles



SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — John Velazquez topped the Saratoga jockey standings for the second straight year, and trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Mike Repole also successfully defended their titles.

Velazquez had 54 winners to move to become the second leading rider at the Spa with 655 career victories.

The NYRA announced this summer that the Saratoga jockey title would be named after Hall of Famer Angel Cordero, Jr., agent and mentor to Velazquez. Cordero retired with 649 Saratoga victories and both he and Velazquez trail Hall of Fame rider Jerry Bailey, who visited the Saratoga winner’s circle 693 times. Of Velazquez’s wins, 31 came for Pletcher, and the rider carried Repole’s blue and orange colors for nine wins.