Jockey Corey Lanerie captured one more race on Monday's closing card to finish Ellis Park's 2018 meet with 30 victories out of 137 mounts after missing the first six days following the death of his wife, Shantel.
Lanerie won Monday's 10th race for older maidens aboard Marzo. He also had three seconds, including in the 12th race that concluded the meet. That race was won by U S Citizen and jockey Edgar Morales, who put an explanation point on a fine meet that saw him tie for second in the standings with former Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey Shaun Bridgmohan with 24 victories each.
Morales had 188 mounts, to 100 for Bridgmohan. Bridgmohan's haul included a six-win day on Aug. 5, the inaugural Kentucky Downs Preview Day.
Lanerie led all riders in earnings at $816,797, which included sweeping the Ellis Park Debutante with Serengeti Empress and the Ellis Park Juvenile with Tobacco Road.
Lanerie also was handed down a three-date suspension from the Ellis stewards Monday after being disqualified from second to ninth for causing interference in Sunday's sixth race. That will force Lanerie to miss the final three days of Kentucky Downs' lucrative meet. He said he doesn't plan to appeal. Lanerie rides Thursday at Kentucky Downs and then will be back riding on Friday, Sept. 14, opening day at Churchill Downs.
“I want to be at Churchill, even though those (Kentucky Downs) purses are good,” the 15-time Churchill Downs leading rider said.
Brad Cox, who had no horses racing at Ellis on Monday, already had clinched the trainer's title with 22 victories out of 65 starters, including three stakes: the $50,000 Good Lord with Majestic Affair, $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Tourist Mile with Mr. Misunderstood and the $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Calumet Farm Turf Cup with Arklow. All three stakes winners were ridden by Bridgmohan.
Tessa Bisha, who oversaw Cox's Ellis Park division, said the title was especially gratifying after starting off
“I was a little nervous when we got off to such a slow start,” Bisha said. “But when they started winning, they just didn't stop. All the horses that won came from the three main strings, and it was really, really a big team effort. I think we had an equal number of winners from here, from Churchill Downs and from Indiana who came in here and did really well.”
When it was pointed out that she had to saddle all those horses, Bisha said with a laugh, “Putting the saddle on is the easy part. It's all the work that goes into it. It's a lot of work, but it was everybody's hard work.”
Ian Wilkes finished second in the trainer standings with 12 wins, one more than Chris Hartman and two more than two-time defending titlist Steve Asmussen.
Joey Keith Davis of Arlington, Texas, won his first owner's title at a Kentucky track with a meet-leading seven wins out of 17 starters, with a second and two thirds. Iconic Calumet Farm finished second with six wins, but led all owners in purses earned at $196,032. All his Ellis starters were trained by Hartman.
Though live racing is over, Ellis Park remains open seven days a week, year round except for Christmas, for simulcasting from tracks across the country and for historical horse racing gaming.
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