Finish Line Farms’ Just a Lion gave trainer Juan Serey an extra celebration following his victory at Monmouth Park Oct. 17. After crossing the wire a length in front of Flirtatious Smile, Just a Lion provided Serey with his 1,000th career win as a trainer.
“It represents a lot of hard work,” said Serey from the winner’s circle. “That’s really what this means to me. It’s very exciting and nice to have won my 1,000th race. It’s taken a long time and a lot of long, long days.”
A 51-year-old native of Santiago, Chile, Serey moved to the United States in the early 1980s and galloped horses for Oscar and Laz Barrera, John Tammaro, and Frank Martin before taking out his trainer’s license in 1991.
Serey won a record five consecutive training titles at Monmouth from 1995 through 1999. In addition, he was a two-time top conditioner at Meadowlands and captured the 1996 trainer’s title at Aqueduct.
After spending several years working on a farm in upstate New York, Serey returned to training in 2005.
Just a Lion, who stepped the six furlongs in 1:11, recorded his fourth win in 15 starts this season, all for Serey.