Which Maryland trainers are nearing career milestones?
Last Friday, veteran Maryland trainer Hamilton Smith earned the 2,000th win of his career. That’s no small feat; it requires a trainer to win at a high level and for a long time, and neither is easy.
It got us thinking: which Maryland trainers are nearing career milestones of their own? And who are the leading active trainers in the state?
TRAINERS NEARING MILESTONES
- Jerry Robb is the closest of any Maryland trainer to a major career milestone. He’ll join Ham Smith with 2,000 wins sometime this year and quite possibly soon: he has 1,992 wins as of January 15, 2020.
- Dale Capuano will most likely reach 3,500 wins during the 2020 campaign, the “highest” milestone we’re likely to see in Maryland this year. He has 3,470 wins to date. Capuano ranks 24th all-time in trainer wins.
- Jamie Ness is even closer to his next big milestone. He has 2,975 wins to date and needs just 25 to reach the 3,000 mark. Ness ranks 33rd all time.
- Others closing in on career milestones include Hugh McMahon (32 wins to 1,000), Wayne Potts (43 wins to 500), and Graham Motion (52 wins to 2,500).
TRAINERS WITH THE MOST WINS
Of course, when it comes to wins by Maryland trainers, one name looms large: King T. Leatherbury. Leatherbury ranks fifth all time with 6,503 wins and is, as he’s always delighted in telling audiences, “as Maryland as crab cakes.”
But Leatherbury is also winding down a fabulous career that really culminated a couple of years back when he won admittance to the national racing Hall of Fame. His runners made just 46 starts last year, the fewest he’d made in more than 50 years (and perhaps ever; Equibase stats don’t include his starts from the early 1960s or earlier). And he won just two of those.
Among trainers who won at least 10 races at Laurel Park last year (and excluding one or two, like Jeremiah Englehart, for whom Maryland constitutes just a small part of their business), here are the all-time leaders by wins, as of January 15, 2020:
|6||John J. Robb||1992|
|29||John Salzman, Jr.||237|
LATEST MARYLAND NEWS
Still Having Fun, a Grade 2 winner, will make the second start of his comeback in Saturday’s Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel Park.
Eight-year-old John Jones will aim for his third Jennings Stakes title Saturday at Laurel Park against a field including 2019 Preakness runner Alwaysmining.
Anna’s Bandit, winner of six straight, will look to run her streak to seven as the odds-on choice in Saturday’s Geisha Stakes at Laurel Park.
New rules limiting riders’ use of the riding crop lightened three jocks’ wallets in the first three days – but met with widespread acclaim.
Monday Morning Qb, winner of Laurel Park’s Heft Stakes in December, may hop the Derby trail in the Feb. 1 G3 Withers at Aqueduct.
Full-card picks and analysis for the day’s Laurel Park card, plus our stat of the day!