Boosted by three multiple-win days, Joel Rosario captured his second leading rider title at Keeneland with 17 victories. Rosario, who swept the riding title in 2013 with a Spring Meet record 38 wins, partnered with Live Oak Plantation and trainer Mark Casse to win consecutive stakes on Toyota Blue Grass Day, scoring with Holding Gold in the Shakertown and Awesome Slew in the Grade III Commonwealth.
Friday was the last day of the 2017 Spring Meet, which because of Easter, featured only 15 days of racing compared to last year’s 16.
Corey Lanerie finished second in the rider standings with 15 wins, led by a victory with Sailor’s Valentine in the Ashland. Tied for third with 12 wins each were Javier Castellano and Julien Leparoux.
Wesley Ward led all trainers with 11 wins to earn his third Keeneland leading trainer title, having previously won in the Spring and Fall of 2012. Ward won the Giant’s Causeway with European champion Lady Aurelia.
Todd Pletcher notched eight wins to be second, three of them stakes races: Adena Springs Beaumont with Sweet Loretta, Maker’s 46 Mile with American Patriot and Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (Grade III) with Unbridled Mo.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin Racing teamed for four wins, including the Coolmore Jenny Wiley with Dickinson and the Ben Ali (Grade III) with Watershed.
For McLaughlin, the four-win day tied him with Mott and Pletcher for the most wins by a trainer in a single day at Keeneland. McLaughlin finished third in the trainer standings with seven wins.
Godolphin Racing closed the Spring Meet with five victories to secure its first title as leading owner at Keeneland.
Finishing second in the owner standings with four victories was Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, which was represented by Madison (Grade I) winner Paulassilverlining.
Owner John C. Oxley won his eighth graded stakes at Keeneland with La Coronel in the Grade III Appalachian, earning a rare milestone Keeneland Tray.
This spring, Keeneland offered average daily purses of $709,861, up 13 percent from 2016 to rank among the highest in the country.
The average daily attendance was 16,816, compared with last year’s average of 16,387. Blockbuster Saturdays featuring multiple graded stakes drew crowds in excess of 30,000 to the track.
The on-track handle of $17,668,979 was down just slightly from last year’s 16-day meet total of $17,974,896. Average daily on-track wagering of $1,177,932 was up from $1,123,431 in 2016.
All-sources wagering on Keeneland racing totaled $137,399,556, down 5.6 percent from last spring’s $145,592,372. The average daily all-sources handle of $9,159,970 rose from $9,099,523 last year.
“Keeneland’s continued success is built on the contribution of many, from our horsemen to our enthusiastic fans, sponsors, media partners and staff, and we extend our thanks to all those who make racing at Keeneland such a memorable experience,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said in a release. “Their efforts reflect a community that takes pride in Keeneland and is passionate about horse racing at the highest level.”