Jockey Julien Leparoux won the 1,000th race of his career when he guided My Little Connor to a 1 3/4-length victory for trainer Dave Vance in the third race at Churchill Downs May 13.
“It feels good,” Leparoux said. “I’ll feel even better when I get 1,001. Each victory feels a little bit better. There are so many people that have helped me along the way, including (trainer Patrick) Biancone, who helped me from the start, to my agent, Steve Bass, trainers like Mike Maker and great owners such as Ken and Sarah Ramsey. There are too many good people to mention, but I’d like to thank all of the owners and trainers who gave me the opportunity to ride their horses.”
The 25-year-old native of Senlis, France, is in the midst of his fifth year as a professional jockey. Leparoux won his first race Aug. 18, 2005 at Saratoga Race Course and has ascended ever since.
In 2006, Leparoux won a career-high 403 races while his mounts earned a personal-best $12.4 million. The impressive year-end statistics – he led all jockeys in races won – resulted in an Eclipse Award as North America’s top apprentice rider.
Leparoux has amassed 87 stakes wins, including 53 in graded races. His most notable wins came aboard Nownownow in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and Forever Together in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).
Leparoux is also the regular rider of top older horse Einstein, who prevailed in last fall’s Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs and this year’s Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT).
“It’s nice when you can ride good horses like Einstein, Forever Together ,and (2009 Humana Distaff, gr. I, winner) Informed Decision,” Leparoux said. “So far, it’s been a fun run. Hopefully, we can keep it going and have a very good year.”
The Frenchman is a four-time leading rider at Churchill Downs, including the 2008 fall meet when notching a meet-record 63 victories. During that meet, Leparoux rode seven winners on Veterans Day to match legendary Pat Day’s single-day track record.