Owner-trainer William Duvall's 4-year-old Orientate colt was Boulganger's 30th mount. He's also had four seconds and three thirds.
Boulanger and Swaylon Braylon grabbed the lead out of the gate and widened command throughout, covering the six-furlong claiming race in 1:13.27
"It feels amazing to win," said Boulanger, 20. The San Ramon, Calif. native is the son of jockey Gary Boulanger and former jockey Julie Griffith, and the brother of former jockey Alexa Boulanger. He grew up in Florida, first in Hollywood and then the West Palm Beach area. He and his sister received ponies on his third Christmas and he has been on horseback ever since. His sister, two years older, also taught him early lessons about racing competition.
"My mom taught me how to ride. My sister and I used to gallop around the tomato fields," Boulanger said. "I was 4 years old and I had this little palomino pony. She would try to push me off of it."
Boulanger began riding racehorses at age 18, getting youngsters ready at both his dad's farm in Ocala and at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. facility. After the sales he worked at Keith Asmussen's farm in Laredo, Texas, again breaking yearlings. He returned to Florida in the fall of last year, worked as an exercise rider at Calder Casino & Race Course, and took out his jockey's license Nov. 11. He moved his tack to Turfway in mid-December.
"I never thought of doing anything else," Boulanger said. "I had the size, I was a small kid. I played sports—hockey, football, a little bit of polo. I learned to have fun with horses."
Boulanger plans to leave Turfway March 18 for Emerald Downs in Washington, building on relationships his dad established there in his three years as leading rider.