Jockey Harry Vega registered the 4,000th win of his career when he guided favored Moonshot Monkey to victory at Penn National Race Course on the evening of Oct. 5 (VIDEO).
The 47-year-old Vega, a native of New Brunswick, N.J. who was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., began his riding career in Michigan in 1983 before switching to the Northeast circuit a few years later. He is best known for riding Xtra Heat, the Laurel Park-based Eclipse Award winner as the champion 3-year-old filly of 2001. They teamed for wins in the Barbara Fritchie (gr. II), Genuine Risk (gr. II), and Vagrancy (gr. II) handicaps in 2002.
Vega notched his first career victory at Hazel Park Oct. 11, 1983.
His milestone win came for trainer Adam Rice in a $10,000 maiden claiming race for 2-year-old fillies. Moonshot Monkey, a daughter of The Green Monkey owned by Donna Jordan and Kevin Rice, came from midpack to win by a half-length at odds of 13-10. She was timed in 1:14.34 for six furlongs on a fast track.
According to Equibase, Vega has had 22,480 mounts through Oct. 5 in a career that in addition to his victories includes 3,282 seconds and 3,071 thirds. His mounts have amassed total purse earnings of more than $58 million. Vega reached 3,000 wins in September 2005 at Philadelphia Park.