New York trainer H. James Bond earned his 1,000th career victory when Messorio scored by five lengths in the fourth race at Finger Lakes Sept. 28.
The 54-year-old Rochester native registered his milestone win at the track where he began his career after taking his trainer's license out at the age of 16. He moved his operation to Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park in 1990.
According to Equibase, Bond has saddled 6,003 horses through Sept. 29. He has 864 seconds and 780 thirds in addition to his victories while amassing total purse earnings of $36,971,428.
Bond's real first names is Harold but he has gone with his middle name throughout his career, playing off the famous "007" theme of his fictional spy namesake. He grew up around the track at Finger Lakes helping his father, trainer Harold George Bond. He began galloping horses at the age of 11.
Jaime Rodriguez was aboard Messorio, a 4-year-old gelding owned by Bond's wife, Tina Marie. The victory came in a $4,500 claiming event at 1 1/16 miles.
Bond has enjoyed great success at the top levels over the years on the New York circuit, most recently winning the 2011 Metropolitan and Whitney (both gr. I) handicaps with Tizway .
Among Bond's best horses was Behrens, who won four consecutive graded stakes in 1999 and competed in both the 1997 and 1999 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr.I), finishing seventh both times. Behrens won the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I) twice, the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I), and four grade II stakes: the Dwyer, the Suburban, the Massachusetts, and the Pegasus. Behrens also finished second in six grade I events, including the Dubai World Cup.
The 1996 Travers (gr. I) winner Will's Way was another top horse for Bond. Will's Way also won the Whitney. In 2002, the Bond-trained Buddha won the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and was the second choice on the morning line for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) but was scratched the morning before the race with a bruised foot. Other stable stars include Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) winner Val's Prince, Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) winner Devious Course, and Donn Handicap (gr. I) victor Mongoose.