Trainer Jamie Ness bags 3,000th win
Jamie Ness at Delaware Park.
Once trainer Jamie Ness got close to the 3,000-win mark, he wasted no time in reaching it.
The 45-year-old South Dakota native reached 2,995 wins with a score on Saturday at Parx Racing. Then on Monday and Tuesday, he completed this leg of the journey with five more victories at Parx, ending the racing week with an even 3,000 wins from 12,286 starters. That’s a gaudy 24% strike rate that has generated nearly $51 million in career purse earnings.
Thus far in 2020, Ness is 30-for-109, with earnings of more than $700,000. Late Breaking News, the 8-5 favorite in a $25,000 claiming race, did the honors of getting Ness to 3,000, winning the sixth race easily under Navin Mangalee.
Ness recorded his first starter in 1999, but did not begin his career in particularly auspicious fashion. His first 32 starters all lost, and he completed that year just 2-for-43. The next year was better — 13 wins from 110 starts — and kicked off a rise which saw him win more races each year through 2012.
That year, Ness won 395 times — the most of any trainer in America — with a 31% strike rate and purse earnings of nearly $6.8 million. While, with a smaller barn, Ness has not approached those numbers since, he has continued to send out winners at a solid clip; each year since 2012, he’s won at least 16% of his races and generated purse earnings of at least $2.1 million.
In recent years, Ness’s operation has included runners at Parx, Laurel Park, and Delaware Park, where he has won leading trainer honors several times. His success has not been without controversy — he served a 100-day suspension in 2017 as a result of what the Paulick Report described as “multiple Class 3 medication violations in Florida” — but he has not been sanctioned for a medication violation in any of the last three racing seasons, according to Thoroughbredrulings.com.
Ness has won 47 stakes races in his career, including three in 2019. His biggest win came in the 2017 edition of the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap, when Ghost Hunter, a seven-year-old gelding he trained for Triple K Stables, posted a 12-1 upset in what remains the only graded win of Ness’s career.
Given the rate at which he wins races, it’s a safe bet that he’ll zoom past the 3,000-win plateau shortly. He has four horses entered on Friday and five more on Saturday.
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