Leading Prairie Meadows jockey David Mello landed his 1,000th lifetime victory the evening of July 12 when he guided Voodooville to a three-length victory in the fourth race at the Altoona, Iowa, track.
Mello managed his milestone score in a $10,000 claiming event at six furlongs with the 5-year-old Iowa-bred gelding for owner Maggie Moss and trainer Chris Richard. Voodooville was timed in 1:11.06 on a fast track and won at odds of 2-1.
The jockey went on to win two more races on the Saturday night card, bringing his career total to 1,002 victories from 7,834 mounts. He also has 964 seconds and 1,005 thirds, good for total purse earnings of $20,743,896.
Mello set a Prairie Meadows record for most wins in a meet in 2013 with 99, breaking the mark of 97 set by Terry Thompson in 2011. He leads the current Prairie Meadows standings with 81 victories, far ahead of his closest competitor, Alex Birzer, who has 59. For the year, Mello has 117 wins from 570 mounts.
The 29-year-old native of Foster, R.I., has been riding since 2003.
Mello recorded his first graded stakes win June 28 at Prairie Meadows aboard Jessica's Star in the $250,000 Iowa Derby (gr. III) for owner Mark Breen and trainer Mike Stidham. He also rides at Oaklawn Park.