Phil Serpe

Phil Serpe

NYRA

Wingman Gives Trainer Serpe Milestone Win

Trainer Phil Serpe secures 1,000th victory of his career.

Chester and Mary Broman's Wingman rallied from eighth to post a clear victory in the final race at Aqueduct Racetrack Nov. 9, giving veteran trainer Phil Serpe the 1,000th victory of his career.

Among Serpe's 13 graded stakes wins are grade 1 scores in the 1992 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes with Captive Miss and the 1993 Vosburgh Stakes with Birdonthewire.

"To tell you the truth, it's very humbling. I was a young guy in New Jersey in 1989 when I had a [couple of] hundred wins and two grade 1 [victories], and I thought it would be easy doing this," Serpe said Thursday. "It's taken some time for the next 500, so I'm very appreciative for this and for the support of the people behind me, including my owners and my girlfriend, and I'm very happy."

Wingman completed Thursday's one-mile maiden-claiming race in 1:36.95 on good turf. While that effort gave Serpe his 1,000th victory, he still recalls his first win in 1984 at Keystone Race Track.

"I remember it. Delaware Park was closed, they were rebuilding Garden State, so I ran a horse named Alturas. I'll never forget," Serpe said. "I won my first two races [with him] and I went 2-for-2 as a trainer. I said 'This will be easy,' but there's nothing easy about any of this. Every race you win is hard-earned and well-deserved, and that goes for all my colleagues out there. It isn't easy to come by, especially in New York."