Tom Proctor

Tom Proctor

Anne M. Eberhardt

Trainer Proctor Registers 1,000th Career Win

Milestone victory comes in an allowance race on turf Jan. 4 at Tampa Bay Downs.

Trainer Tom Proctor notched career victory 1,000 Jan. 4 when 4-year-old gelding Avanzare rolled to a five-length victory on the turf at Tampa Bay Downs in the eighth race.

Proctor's long-time assistant, Nicky Carrillo, saddled Avanzare, who is owned by Donato Lanni and John Youngblood and was ridden by Ronnie Allen Jr.

The milestone win in the one-mile allowance was an emotional experience for assistant Carrillo, who has been with Proctor almost 25 years, including for the 1994 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) victory at Churchill Downs with One Dreamer.

"He (Proctor) is the best thing that happened to me in my life," Carrillo said. "He treats everybody in the barn the same, but he has been like my dad."

The 57-year-old Proctor, who trained exclusively for Glen Hill Farm before going public in 2005, watched the race from home in California.

"It was nice to see Nicky and all the barn people in the winner's circle, and it's nice to win at Tampa Bay Downs. It's been a good racetrack to me the last few years and it's a special place," Proctor said.

"Nicky tells me I am like his daddy, but I always tell him we are like brothers. He is not afraid to tell me when he doesn't like something, and I can leave him in charge and trust him to do a great job. Winning 1,000 to me is basically a credit to a lot of nice horses, good owners, and the people who work for me and make good things happen," Proctor said.

Avanzare is 2-for-2, having broken his maiden at Churchill Downs in November.