Trainer John Kimmel joined the Thousand Victory Club with a Friday win at Belmont Park.

Trainer John Kimmel joined the Thousand Victory Club with a Friday win at Belmont Park.


Kimmel Gets 1,000th Win With Premium Tap

(from Belmont Park report)
Trainer John Kimmel scored the 1,000th victory of his career on Friday afternoon at Belmont Park when he saddled Premium Tap to a win in the third race, the $65,000-added Albert the Great.

The victory came nearly two decades after Kimmel's first win with Chachi Man in 1987 at Calder Race Course.

"I had no idea until just a few days ago that it was approaching," Kimmel said. "It's unbelievable to think that a thousand wins would go by so fast in the years I've been doing this. This will be one I will certainly remember, that's for sure. This is a good one to put in the kitty."

Those $2 win players in Friday's crowd of 6,064 put $10.80 in their kitty if they bet on the 4-year-old son of Pleasant Tap, who won by 3 1/4 lengths over 1-4 favorite Sun King, who ran second in the four-horse field.

Sun King, a $1.7 million earner, had just missed winning the prestigious Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) in May. Premium Tap, who has now won four of 12 starts, might appear next in Saratoga's $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at nine furlongs Aug. 5.

"He's a beautiful made horse," said Kimmel of Premium Tap. "He showed the kind of horse he is. We had a hard time during his three-year-old year keeping him sound, but he's come together and we've been patient with him.

"I've always thought he had the talent (to run in races like the Whitney). The key is keeping him sound and being patient."

Kimmel, 52, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School in 1980 and operated his own practice from 1983-87. He trained Hidden Lake to an Eclipse Award as champion older filly/or mare in 1997.

(Chart, Equibase)