Saez nears 3,000 wins, eyes 2nd straight Belmont Stakes score

Saez nears 3,000 wins, eyes 2nd straight Belmont Stakes score
Photo: Scott G. Serio/Eclipse Sportswire

Luis Saez captured two races Saturday on the Preakness Stakes card, bringing him to 2,995 wins for his career.

“Someone told me the other day about the 3,000 wins, but I’m just focusing on riding and trying to win other races,” Saez said with a laugh at Pimlico on Saturday.

Saez rallied from off the pace with Ethereal Road to capture the Sir Barton for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and followed one race later with a gate-to-wire score aboard Carotari in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint for conditioner Brian Lynch.

Saez has forged some indelible moments recently on the NYRA circuit, including winning the 2021 Angel Cordero Jr. Riding Title for the Saratoga meet for his first career riding crown. Saez, who turned 30 on May 19, won his first American Classic when he piloted Essential Quality to victory in the 2021 Belmont Stakes.

Should Ethereal Road enter the Belmont Stakes, it would give Saez a chance to look forward to chasing a personal milestone and also the opportunity to become the first jockey to win back-to-back Belmont Stakes since Hall of Famer Laffit Pincay Jr. notched three consecutive wins from 1982-84.

Saez said 12 furlongs shouldn’t be a deterrent for the Quality Road colt should the connections decide to compete in the “Test of the Champion.”

“Oh yeah, he can run all day. He can definitely go longer,” Saez said from Pimlico’s winner's circle.

2022 Belmont Stakes (G1)

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