Jockey Eddie Castro reached a career milestone on Wednesday at Churchill Downs when he scored his 1,000th career victory aboard 15-1shot Jermidy in the first race.The 2-year-old daughter of Devil His Due, the longest shot in the field paying $32.80, grabbed the lead at the head of the stretch and drew away to win by a comfortable 3 ¾ lengths. The milestone came in Castro's only opportunity of the day. His only other mount, Moneymoneymoney, was scratched from the 7th race.A steady rain pelted the track as members of the Churchill Downs jockey colony joined the 22-year-old Castro to celebrate the achievement. Churchill Downs provided a sign to mark the occasion that also offered congratulations from Calder Race Course, Churchill Downs' sister track in Miami where Castro had earned three riding titles following his arrival in the United States in 2003.Wednesday's success came just 11 days after the biggest moment of his career: a victory in the $2 million NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) aboard Live Oak Plantation's Miesque's Approval on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs. He is riding in Kentucky this fall on a full-time basis for the first time in his career."It been good to stay here in Kentucky to ride at Churchill Downs and Keeneland," said Castro. "I'm very happy to win my 1,000th race." The winner of the 2003 Eclipse Award that honored him as the nation's top apprentice jockey, Castro set a national record when he rode nine winners on a single card at Calder on June 4, 2005.
Wednesday's victory was Castro's 159th of the year and his sixth of the fall meet at Churchill Downs. His mounts have earned more than $8.2 million and he ranks 16th in earnings by U.S.-based jockeys.