(from Golden Gate Fields)
Jockey Francisco Duran notched his 1,000th career victory March 12 at Golden Gate Fields when he guided Karmalize to a front-running score in the sixth race.
In a photo finish, Karmalize just held off The Hunt Is On and Saravas Wild Again in the one-mile race for 3-year-old maidens. The photo showed Karmalize hitting the wire a nose in front of The Hunt Is On, who took second by a neck over Saravas Wild Again.
"I'm excited and I'm proud of myself," said the 32-year-old Duran, who worked hard on Karmalize from the far turn to the wire. "It's a tough business and I'm thankful I've been able to win so many races. Hopefully, I can win another thousand."
Karmalize, trained by Andrew Wilson, returned $16.20 to win, breaking his maiden in his 10th career start.
The milestone win came in career mount No. 7,590 for Duran, a native of Stockton, Calif., who rode his first winner in 2001. He had a banner campaign in 2002 when he won 202 races and gained national attention as a finalist for the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding apprentice rider
Duran won the riding championship at the 2002 San Mateo County Fair meeting at Bay Meadows when he topped Hall of Famer Russell Baze and Jason Lumpkins. Duran finished as the fifth-leading jockey at the 2008-2009 Golden Gate Fields meeting despite missing several weeks of action with a shoulder injury.
He has won stakes races at Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows, the California State Fair in Sacramento, the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, the Solano County Fair in Vallejo and the Big Fresno Fair.
Duran's mounts have earned more $16 million in purses.