Pletcher on Track to Win Fifth Consecutive Title

December 22 –  With slightly more than a week left in the year, Todd Pletcher is on the verge of his fifth consecutive title as North America’s leading trainer. He has distanced his nearest rivals with $22,328,116 in purse earnings this year.

Chad Brown is second with $15,330,790 and Bob Baffert, who saddled Dortmund to win the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity at Los Alamitos Saturday, is third with $13,637,221.

Bayern leads the equine standings with $4,389,680. California Chrome is second with $4,007,800 and Untapable is third with $2,808,600.

Take Charge Brandi, winner of the $350,000 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on December 7, is now the highest money-

earning 2-year-old filly with $1,620,126, breaking Awesome Feather’s record of $1,495,746 in 2010.

Javier Castellano maintained his position atop the jockeys’ standings with $24,864,164. Joel Rosario is second with $21,390,625 and Irad Ortiz, Jr. is third with $19,992,384.

Equine earnings are for all starters of at least one race in North America and include earnings from all international races. Trainer and jockey standings are for North American-based individuals but include earnings from select international races.

For a listing of the weekly leaders for horses, trainers, and jockeys through December 21, 2014, click here.
Notable News:

NM racing panel concerned with enforcement backlog

By Susan Montoya Bryan - Associated Press
Published: December 21, 2014, 8:14 am Updated: December 21, 2014, 8:14 am

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Regulators who oversee New Mexico’s horse racing industry said Tuesday they are grappling with a significant enforcement backlog after adopting tougher sanctions and boosting testing for illicit drugs.

Racing Commission Director Vince Mares told members of the Legislative Finance Committee it could take until mid-2016 for the panel to clear its backlog of cases against owners and trainers accused of violating state racing and doping rules.

The bottleneck comes when cases are challenged in court, a process that can take a year, Mares said. Defendants are often granted the right to keep racing while the findings are appealed, and he said that has created the perception that the state isn’t doing anything to crack down on cheaters.

“These trainers and owners are still running their horses. The perception that nothing is being done is a valid perception, but it’s beyond the commission’s control,” he said.

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