Trainer Dale Romans Gets 1,000th Victory

Trainer Dale Romans was credited with the 1,000th victory of his career when he sent out Haiaccept to win the sixth race at Churchill Downs Sunday.

Equibase credits Romans with 999 wins because it doesn't count Roses in May's 2005 win in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) as part of the total.

Rene Douglas rode Haiaccept to victory by three-quarters of a length in the $8,000 claiming race with a five-wide rally leaving the turn in the six-furlong heat. Frank L. Jones Jr. owns the winner.

The 39-year-old Romans, a native of Louisville, Ky., whose father, Jerry Romans, taught him the game, first took out his training license when he was 20.

Romans had climbed within two victories of the milestone on June 3 when he won the Dogwood Breeders' Cup (gr. III) with Joint Effort, but had to wait a little more than a week to collect the pair of victories needed to reach the coveted mark. He saddled the first winner of his career in February 1987 at Turfway Park.

"I never would have expected to get to this point in my career," said Romans. "When I started out with my dad we didn't have that many horses, and most of them were cheap. All we worried about was making a living, but it's gone way beyond that."

After Romans collected that 998th win with Joint Effort, he needed 15 starters to reach to the 1,000 mark. He was 0-for-12 before he notched his 999th win with Arch de Lee in Saturday's 10th race. Haiaccept was his second of three starters of the Sunday program.

"It was more important than I thought it might be," said Romans. "I think the older I get I'm more of a milestone guy, because there's more of them coming up and the more you can look back and see what you've accomplished. It's a big number for a horse trainer."

Romans is currently the leading trainer at Churchill Downs, where he has scored 362 wins, fourth most in track history. He is bidding for a sixth training title in the spring meet to go along with a pair of training championships in the fall meet at Churchill.

Besides Roses in May, who also won the 2004 Whitney (gr. I) at Saratoga, Romans' other top horse was Kitten's Joy, who won an Eclipse Award as outstanding turf runner in 2004.

(Chart, Equibase)