Jockey Corey Nakatani rode four winners including Aragorn in the $321,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) to reach the 3,000-win mark Monday at Hollywood Park.
Nakatani, who rode his first winner on Oct. 2, 1988, at Caliente in Tijuana, Mexico, also connected on Diamond Dave in the first race, Li Bien in the third race and Shakin N Dancin in the ninth race – one race after his Shoemaker triumph.
"It feels great, to get the monkey off your back," he said. I've got a long ways to go. I'm a perfectionist and I want to do the best that I can do. Hopefully this will springboard me back into being the leading rider in the country. There's a lot of emotions going through me at this point.
"A lot of tragedy throughout my life, especially in the mid-1990s. My father and my sister passed away, my grandfather ... just a lot of things that get you to this point. Horseracing to me has been a savior. Sticking out personal issues by riding. It isn't just a number, not for me it's not. Being an idol of Laffit Pincay, I've still got a long ways to go."
Nakatani, a 35-year-old native of Covina, was the leading apprentice rider in Southern California in 1989. He has won nine riding titles, including the 1995 spring/summer crown at Hollywood Park, where he ranks eighth all-time with 1,053 wins.