With his second victory on the card, jockey Horacio Karamanos reached the 1,000-win plateau Saturday at Laurel Park, but not without some drama.
Sent to post as the even-money favorite in the seventh race, Royalties tracked the pacesetters to the far turn and swept to the lead at the top of the lane. But just fifteen jumps from the finish line, she bore in and hit the rail. It took all of Karamanos strength and talent to straighten out the filly and drive her on to the finish line, where she won by a nose over a closing Farah T. Salute.
“I feel so happy,” said Karamanos, who won 1,500 races in Argentina before relocating to the United States in 2001. “This is special and it means so much to me to win it here at Laurel, which has been my home. I wish my wife and daughter were here to take the picture with me but they are in Argentina this next week.”
Karamanos arrived in Maryland in 2002 and has been a consistent figure in the colony. He finished third in the Maryland standings that initial year and has not been worse than sixth since. He has two riding titles in the state, at the 2002 Laurel summer and the 2003 Pimlico summer-fall stands. He tied a Laurel Park record by riding seven winners on October 26, 2002.
The 33-year-old has visited the winners’ circle at Laurel and Pimlico 587 times, including 25 during the current winter meeting.