Jockey Eduardo Perez Earns 2,000th Victory

Milestone win for 45-year-old rider comes in opening race at Hawthorne March 16.

Jockey Eduardo Perez won the 2,000th race of his career when he guided favored Lighthouse Judge to a nose victory in the first race at Hawthorne Race Course March 16.

The 45-year-old Perez, a native of Taluca, Mexico, has been riding since 1988. He has had 15,887 mounts and earnings of nearly $35.2 million during his career. So far in 2011, he has eight victories from 58 mounts.

Perez's best year, in terms of victories, was 1992 when he had 153 from a career-high 1,089 starts. His best money-earning season was 2007 when his purses totaled $2,994,002. He won 126 races from 801 starts that year.

The milestone win came for trainer Mark Cristel and owners Cristel Racing Stables, Leo Matteucci and Robert Fattore. Lighthouse Judge, a 7-year-old gelding by Slew City Slew, led at every call in the six-furlong dirt race for a claiming price of $5,000, nipping Cause Cause Cause in a spirited stretch fight.

Perez won the 2008 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) at Kentucky Downs with 59-1 shot Rumor Has It.