From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Juan Vazquez moved into a first place tie in the Laurel Park trainer standings with two live racing days remaining in the winter meeting. The 42-day stand ends Saturday afternoon.

Vazquez saddled Cochita Rich ($11.80) to victory in Thursday’s fourth race to tie Claudio Gonzalez for the top spot. Both conditioners have 19 victories.

“The title is going to have to be earned,” said Vazquez, who topped the standings at the Pimlico spring meet last year. “I have a lot of horses entered but every race is tough. The fields aren’t large but it seems every horse in every race has a chance to win. It is tough but I hope to finish on top.”

Vazquez will have runners in five of the nine races Friday and four-of-10 on closing day.

Gonzalez has runners entered in six races over the final two days.

Hugh McMahon and Kieron Magee are one back with 18 winners. McMahon could have starters in eight races, while Magee, who is winning at a 29% clip for the meet, has just one horse remaining to compete.

(Featured image by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.)