Jill Jellison booted home Bobby Raymond's Halo Skywalker in the third race at Tampa Bay Downs March 4 to win her 1,770th career race and become the third all-time leading female jockey.Julie Krone, who recorded her first win at Tampa Bay Downs aboard Lord Farkle on Feb. 12, 1981, is at the top of the list with 3,704 wins, followed by Patti Cooksey with 2,137 wins.Raymond started Jellison in the business 22 years ago when she began galloping horses at Raymond's farm. Jellison was the leading apprentice at Finger Lakes in 1982, then ventured to the New England circuit where, in 1993, she became only the fifth female rider in North American Thoroughbred racing history to win 1,000 races. She was honored by the New England Turf Writers Association with the Lou Smith Award for outstanding achievement that year.
Other career highlights include a Japanese tour with an all-female riding troupe in the International Queen Jockey Series in 1990. More recently, Jellison tied Francine Villenueve for first in Hoosier Park's fourth annual Female Jockey Challenge Nov. 6, 2004.Jellison has considered retirement but wants to stay around horses, possibly as a trainer.