Jockey Johnson Secures Milestone Victory

Regular rider for trainer Gary Hartlage earns 1,000th victory June 5 at Churchill.

Jockey Joe Johnson secured the 1,000th victory of his career June 5 when he guided Silver Antelope to victory in the final race on the Churchill Downs card (VIDEO).

In seventh early in the six-furlong claiming race, Johnson and Patricia Blass' Silver Antelope advanced between horses through the turn, then rallied four wide to register a half-length victory. 

Appropriately enough, Silver Antelope is trained by Gary Hartlage. Johnson and Hartlage have teamed to win 486 races, accounting for nearly half of the jockey's career total. Johnson, of Philpot, Ky., started as a hot walker for Hartlage and then began exercising horses for the trainer before becoming the stable's regular rider.

Johnson has guided On Fire Baby to five stakes victories for Hartlage, including last year's Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park and this year's La Troienne Stakes (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Other top stakes winners for Johnson include Judge T C, who the rider teamed with for seven stakes wins including two grade III scores; and High Heels, who Johnson booted home in the 2007 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn.