Lezcano wins first NYRA riding title

By NYRA Publicity on 07/08/2019 8:47 AM

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Lezcano won his first NYRA riding title, totaled a 44-35-31 record in 190 mounts and earnings of more than $3.34 million in a highly competitive meet that saw the top-five riders separated by just five wins. Luis Saez finished second with 43 wins, while Jose Ortiz was third with 40 and Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Joel Rosario tied for fourth with 39.

Lezcano rode 20-1 Henley's Joy to an impressive win in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational to kick off the Turf Trinity series. It marked his first Grade 1 win since Voodoo Song in the 2018 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.

"It's been a very good meet. All the trainers have given me great opportunities and I'm very grateful for them," Lezcano said.
Lezcano, who won his first race in 2004, also piloted Marconi to victory in the Grade 2 Woodford Reserve Brooklyn Invitational on Belmont Stakes Day. Among his other stakes victories during the meet was Newly Minted in the Bouwerie on May 27, Holiday Disguise in the Dancin Renee on June 15 and Marconi again in the Flat Out on May 9 before his Brooklyn triumph a month later. The 34-year-old native of Chiriqui, Panama has already exceeded his 2018 year-end win total of 98 wins with 105 victories this year.

"I was just trying to ride my horses and do my best," Lezcano said. "You have to run for the right people. I thank my agent, Jason Beides, for all his hard work. When you win, you get more opportunities; more horses and better horses and you get more work. In New York, there's so many good riders. Luis, Irad, Jose, Johnny V [Velazquez], and all the young riders, too, it's just real competitive."
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