2019 By The Numbers: North American Horse Racing’s First $30-Million Earners

by | 01.01.2020 | 12:16pm
Undefeated in six starts in 2019, Bricks and Mortar helped carry his connections to year-end leading money-winning titles

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and trainer Chad Brown became North American racing's first $30-million men in 2019, setting earnings records in their respective categories, based on Equibase statistics.

Brown was leading North American trainer by money won for the fourth consecutive year, saddling earners of $31,112,144 and winning 222 races from 823 starts in 2019.  Steve Asmussen was second to Brown by earnings, with a personal best $27,487,885. He won 433 races from 2,209 starts. Asmussen was followed by Todd Pletcher, Brad Cox and Mark Casse.

Irad Ortiz Jr. edged his brother, Jose, earning $34,109,019 compared to $27,529,006, while setting an all-time earnings record for North American jockeys. It was the second consecutive money title for Irad Ortiz Jr. Jose Ortiz was leading jockey by money won in 2017.

The partnership of Klaravich Stables (Seth Klarman) and William Lawrence topped the owners' standings by money won, with $8,178,845, led by stable star and Horse of the Year candidate Bricks and Mortar. Klaravich on its own added $4,968,858 in earnings.

Bricks and Mortar was North America's leading horse by money won, earning $6,723,650 in 2019. His victories included the G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf in January and the G1 Breeders' Cup Turf in November. Bricks and Mortar was followed by City of Light, who earned $4-million with a victory in the G1 Pegasus World Cup. G1 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso was third, earning $3,960,625.

Undefeated in six starts in 2019, Bricks and Mortar was trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. He has been retired and will enter stud in Japan in 2020.

Irad Ortiz Jr. also led all jockeys in races won, 324, with Luis Quinones second with 314.

Karl Broberg was leading trainer by races won for the sixth consecutive year. Broberg won 547 races from 2,130 starts and his End Zone Athletics was leading owner by races won, with 280 victories from 1,073 starts. Asmussen was second among trainers by races won, with 433, with Robertino Diodoro in third at 258. Joseph Besecker was second leading owner by races won with 199, followed by Ron Paolucci Racing LLC in third at 192.

Asmussen holds the single-season record for most wins by a trainer, with 650, set in 2009.

Six horses won nine races each in 2019, led by Mid-Atlantic-based Anna's Bandit, who accomplished the feat in just 11 starts and finished the year with six consecutive wins. Other nine-race winners were Peekacho (whose final win of 2019 came in the Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park on New Year's Eve), Heavens Whisper, Phonemyposseagain, Frosty Star and Timely Prize.

Spendthrift Farm's Into Mischief won his first title as leading general sire in North America. The son of Harlan's Holiday had progeny earnings of $18,916,375 according to Bloodhorse.com, finishing ahead of Hill 'n' Dale Farm's Curlin, second with $15,392,811. Into Mischief sired 23 stakes winners of 2019, including winners of graded or group stakes.

Ashford Stud's American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner by Pioneerof the Nile, was leading freshman sire. His first crop earned $2,703,916 and included four stakes winners, three of them graded/group. WinStar Farm's Constitution was second among first-crop sires, with $2,168,422 won by the progeny of the son of leading sire Tapit.  Curlin's son Palace Malice, standing at Three Chimneys Farm, was third among freshman sires with $1,761,057 in progeny earnings.

Into Mischief ($3,393,944) edged American Pharoah on the list of leading sires of 2-year-olds of 2019. Ashford Stud's Uncle Mo finished third on the juvenile sire list.

Equibase issued the following release on horse racing's top earners:

Klaravich Stables, Inc. and William H. Lawrence finished the year as the leading owner by earnings, while Irad Ortiz Jr. and Chad Brown not only repeated as the top earner for jockeys and trainers, respectively, but each established single season earnings records, according to final statistics released today by Equibase Company LLC, the Thoroughbred industry's official database for racing information.

The year-end compilations are distributed annually by Equibase and include results from Thoroughbred racing in North America from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. Expanded North American racing leaders' lists that include all trainers, jockeys, owners, and horses are available within the statistical section at equibase.com. These lists include the ability to look at leaders with and without the inclusion of Dubai World Cup earnings and in a variety of categories, including age, sex, surface, graded races, and foaling year for horses.

Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (Gr. 1) winner Bricks and Mortar led all Thoroughbreds in North American earnings with $6,723,650. Owned, ridden and conditioned by the leading owner, jockey and trainer, Bricks and Mortar went undefeated in six races, all of which were graded events. Beginning the year with a win the grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes, Bricks and Mortar added the Muniz Memorial Handicap (Gr. 2), the Old Forester Turf Classic Stakes (Gr. 1), the Manhattan Stakes (Gr. 1) and the Arlington Million Stakes (Gr.1) in addition to the Breeders' Cup Turf. When including earnings from Dubai World Cup Day, Thunder Snow (IRE) was the leading earner with $7,320,000 in earnings from his win in the Dubai World Cup and his third-place finish in the RunHappy Metropolitan Handicap (Gr. 1).

Completing the list of top 10 horses by North American earnings were City of Light with $4,000,000, Vino Rosso with $3,960,625, Mitole with $2,756,200, McKinzie with $2,232,560, Code of Honor with $2,211,570, Midnight Bisou with $2,185,000, Country House with $2,105,800, Maximum Security with $1,791,100, and Seeking the Soul with $1,719,111. 

Some of the leading horses also were the top earners from their respective foal crops. The leading earners by foaling year from the past five years were British Idiom (2017 foal crop), Code of Honor (2016), Vino Rosso (2015), Bricks and Mortar (2014) and Gun Runner (2013).

The partnership of Klaravich Stables, Inc. and William H. Lawrence, who campaigned Bricks and Mortar and grade 1 winner Annals of Time, won 17 races from 41 starts and earned $8,178,845 in North America in 2019 to lead all owners. When including earnings from Dubai World Cup Day, Godolphin, LLC was the leading owner for the second consecutive year with 84 wins from 423 starts and earnings of $18,428,502. Godolphin ranked fifth among owners in North American earnings with 80 wins from 409 starts and earnings of $5,153,502. 

Completing the list of top 10 owners by North American earnings in 2019 were Calumet Farm, $6,551,311 (68 wins / 655 starts); Gary Barber, $6,040,187 (69/331); Hronis Racing LLC, $5,632,611(52/234); Klaravich Stables, Inc., $4,968,082 (66/243); Joseph E. Besecker, $4,963,858 (199/774); Ron Paolucci Racing LLC, $4,857,990 (192/799); Peter M. Brant, $4,353,615 (30/81); and End Zone Athletics, $4,261,622 (280/1,073).

Brown, who led all trainers in earnings for the fourth consecutive year, became the first trainer in history to surpass $30 million in earnings, sending out the winners of 222 races from 301 starters with 823 starts for earnings of $31,112,144 in 2019. The previous single season earnings record of $28,116,097 was set in 2007 by Todd PletcherSteve Asmussen finished second in 2019 for the second consecutive year with his horses having won 433 races from 612 starters with 2,209 starts for earnings of $27,487,885. 

Completing the list of top 10 trainers by North American earnings in 2019 were Todd Pletcher, $17,904,526 (177 wins / 795 starts / 269 starters); Brad H. Cox, $17,547,123 (233/947/311); Mark E. Casse, $16,246,643 (199/1,189/320); William I. Mott, $13,127,743 (89/527/164); Michael J. Maker, $12,073,156(177/1,086/312); Jason Servis, $11,089,040 (168/574/171); Bob Baffert, $10,248,430 (78/325/116); and Karl Broberg, $9,135,037 (547/2,130/544). 

Ortiz Jr. reached the winner's circle 311 times from 1,516 mounts enroute to setting a single season earnings record of $34,109,019 while also becoming the first rider to surpass $30 million in earnings. The previous single season earnings mark of $28,120,809 was set in 2015 by Javier CastellanoFinishing second for the second consecutive year (after being the leading rider by earnings in 2017) was Ortiz Jr.'s brother, Jose L. Ortiz, with 274 wins from 1,419 mounts and earnings of $27,529,006.

Rounding out the list of top 10 jockeys by North American earnings in 2019 were Javier Castellano, $25,053,713 (197 wins / 941 starts); Joel Rosario, $24,913,212 (222/1,104); Flavien Prat, $19,693,267 (167/739); John R. Velazquez, $18,795,157 (141/777); Luis Saez, $18,209,050 (274/1,428); Ricardo Santana Jr., $16,705,623(190/1,103); Manuel Franco, $16,688,680 (221/1,340); and Tyler Gaffalione, $15,201,206 (185/1,217).

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