Carlos H. Marquez Jr. notched his 3,000th victory in North America when he guided Savemethelastdance to a two-length score in the seventh race May 26 at Arlington International Racecourse. His career total includes eight wins in Puerto Rico.
After guiding Frank Calabrese and Michael Reavis' 5-year-old Lewis Michael gelding to the winner's circle, Marquez was joined by his mother, Elba Marquez, his brother, Carlos E. Marquez, and his sister-in-law and nephews, as well as his fellow riders.
"We all set goals, and I wasn't expecting it to be this many," Marquez said. "We got lucky, and thank God I did it."
The 50-year-old native of Puerto Rico began riding in 1984 under the guidance of his father, jockey Carlos H. Marquez Sr. The younger Marquez came to ride at Arlington in 1987, capturing the Arlington Oaks (G3) that year on Shot Gun Bonnie, but it wasn't until 2001 that he made the Chicagoland oval his home base. He has won 23 graded stakes, with his biggest victory coming in the 2006 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (G1T) at Keeneland aboard Vacare for trainer Chris Block. In addition to the Oaks, Marquez has captured five other grade 3 events at Arlington: the 2004 and 2006 runnings of the Arlington-Washington Lassie, the Pucker Up Stakes in 2006, the Hanshin Cup Stakes in 2017, and the Arlington Matron Stakes just last week.