Veteran New England jockey Jose Bermudez joined the 1,000-win club in the opening race Oct. 12 at Suffolk Downs, riding Anamuya to a half-length triumph in a $20,000 maiden claiming event for 2-year-old fillies.
Additionally, it was the first victory of the meet as a trainer for former rider Carlos Grullon.
Bermudez arrived in the United States in 1983 from Puerto Rico and settled in Lawrence, Mass. When he was 15, he started walking hots at Rockingham Park. He began exercising horses in 1987 and rode his first winner, Money Market, for Frank Verdillo at Rockingham Park in 1988. Some of the best horses ridden by the 19-year-veteran include Nezzie Berlin, Investment Broker, Megan's Halo, and Run Kush Run.
"One thousand wins means a lot to me," said Bermudez, "because of all the hard work. It's been a lot of years, you know? Now, I'll have to shoot for 2,000."
Bermudez returned to Suffolk Downs in 2003 following stints in New York and the Mid-Atlantic circuit, where he rides when Suffolk closes for the winter.
"It's nice on both those circuits," said Bermudez, who is married and the father of a 3 1/2-year-old daughter. "You get to ride some real nice horses and you learn a lot. But Boston is my town and I've always liked it here."