If you don’t recognize Julien Leparoux from the photo, that might be because you best remember the French-born jockey with his face down flying over the rail after being thrown during the Keeneland spring meeting.
That photo earned Matt Goins of Lexington a 2006 Eclipse Award for photography.
Leparoux, 23, led all jockeys in wins since the first day of the year and finished with 403 victories. He won riding titles at Turfway Park and Churchill Downs, and tied for one at Keeneland. His $12,491,316 in purses placed him eighth in the nation and shattered the former apprentice mark of $7.5 million set by Jeremy Rose in 2001.
Leparoux, who lost his apprentice weight allowance Sept. 25, became a favorite of French-born trainer Patrick Biancone. Seventeen of Leparoux’s 25 stakes wins in 2006 came aboard Biancone’s charges. Leading the way were victories on French-bred Gorella in the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) and Asi Siempre in the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I).
“Part of his success is due to his calmness; he doesn’t get excited,” said Biancone’s daughter, Marie, who serves as an assistant.
“He stays very focused and concentrates on what he does every day. He suddenly became famous, but it hasn’t gone to his head.”
(Article appears in the January 27, 2007 issue of The Blood-Horse)