After finishing second in the jockey standings in three of the last four racing meets at Churchill Downs, veteran Corey Lanerie has clinched his first local riding title to cap off a phenomenal spring stand beneath the Twin Spires.
“It feels great to have had such a good meet,” Lanerie said. “To win all the races I’ve won, it’s a dream come true.”
With two cards left in the meet, the 37-year-old native of Louisiana has 67 wins from 261 starts (26% win clip) and earnings of $1,951,795. He has 24 more wins than runner-up Shaun Bridgmohan. Lanerie’s wins-per-day rate of 1.86 is the highest for a spring meet since Steve Brooks had an average of 2.42 wins per day in 1948.
“It’s been one of the best meets of my career,” Lanerie said. “The money has been great and it’s more noticeable at Churchill Downs. This meet is on the top of my list.”
Lanerie, who eclipsed the 3,000-win plateau early last year, has won riding titles in Texas at Lone Star Park, Sam Houston Race Park, and Retama Park, and at Kentucky’s Ellis Park. But he said the Churchill Downs riding title is the most prestigious and it provides the opportunity to take his career to another level.
“I’ve had some people ask me to ride in stakes races that probably wouldn’t have before (this meet),” Lanerie said. “Maybe they didn’t notice me. I think I’m finally going to be considered a good jock.”
Lanerie, who with 386 local victories is the 19th all-time leading rider at Churchill Downs, said now that he has won a title at the Louisville track, he's looking for more.
“My goal was to get on top and now my goal will be to stay on top,” Lanerie said. “I hope I can keep it rolling.”
Lanerie has 20 mounts over the final two days at Churchill Downs and then will ride at Ellis Park, which opens July 4.
Through June 29, Lanerie has won 3,277 races from 23,150 mounts with total purse earnings of more than $75.4 million.