“It was tough getting there,” he said. “I took some bad injuries in the last few years, so it was good to reach that milestone. To be honest with you, I was surprised to be that close. It was nice to be able to win it for David Vance, he’s a good friend of mine off the track as well, so it was exciting to do that for him, and Oaklawn Park really did it up nice with the sign and cake.”
Thompson ended up wearing most of the cream cake on his face after some of his fellow riders greeted him in the winner’s circle afterward.
Thomas Schueck owns Peace Pledge, a 7-year-old daughter of Our Emblem.
The 35-year-old Thompson, represented by agent Doc Danner (former agent for Pat Day), already ranks high in the standings at the Hot Springs, Ark., track where the 2007 meet began Jan. 19.
“The agent I was normally with stayed in Tampa this winter, and I knew Doc would be looking for a rider, so I took a shot and called him, and it’s been good so far,” Thompson said. “We work well together.”
Thompson said his goals are to stay active and healthy as he rides toward the milestone of 2,500 wins.
“To stay healthy is the main goal in our business, as long as you stay healthy and win races, you’re doing good,” he said. “I’d still like to look for the next 2,500 but right now I’m ready to hit 2,001.”
A native of Omaha, Neb., Thompson has earned 93 of his career victories in stakes races, including the 2004 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) aboard Sand Island and the 2003 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) aboard Sir Cherokee. He won Oaklawn’s Fantasy (gr. II) in ’03 as well with Ruby’s Reception. His mounts have earned $34,315,476 in purses since 1992.
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