Jockey Kent Desormeaux posted his 4,000th career victory when he won Sunday's first race at Santa Anita Park with Temporary Appeal.
Desormeaux, 30, is a three-time Eclipse Award winner who became the youngest rider to reach 3,000 wins when he rode Maisonsaire to victory on April 16, 1995, at Santa Anita at age 25.
According to statistics from Santa Anita, Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. won his 4,000th race at age 32 with Gladiolus at Aqueduct on Nov. 18, 1979. Gary Stevens, another Hall of Fame jockey, won his 4,000th race at age 33 aboard Comply at Hollywood Park on May 23, 1996.
"I'm glad my family is here today (sons Jacob, Joshua, wife, Sonia)," Desormeaux said. "I want to thank my agent, Tony Matos, who has given me the lifelong luxury of winning the Kentucky Derby (2000 aboard Fusaichi Pegasus and 1998 aboard Real Quiet), as well as thousands of (other) winners. I can't forget those (agents) in between -- Gene Short and Brian Beach -- who put me on horses. I want to thank the trainers for giving me the opportunity to ride their horses, and the fans for their support."
Asked if he would ride as long as Laffit Pincay Jr.: "I would say the same as Laffit has said. As long as you're getting opportunities to ride horses that make you want to wake up the next day and go to work, it's fun...but 9,000 wins (career win leader Pincay stood at 9,062 through Sunday's second race) sure seems like a lifetime away. You don't think of numbers (on this occasion). You're certainly very proud and I'm honored to have accomplished this, but it's the daily winners that get you to go the Kentucky Derby. You've got to win races and prove that you can do it time and time again to get the good rides. I want to thank everyone again who've given me the opportunity and instilled their confidence in me."
Trainer Bob Hess Jr., who saddled Temporary Appeal, said, "It's like family when we win with Kent, so this means a lot more. We were there when Josh and Jacob (Kent's young sons) were born. I think his second win out here (in California) was for us, and his second win back after he got run over at Hollywood Park (December, 1992) was for us. It's been fun, and I'm sure there'll be a lot more to come."