Jockey Corey Lanerie, 36, born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, hit the 3,000-career win milestone Feb. 3 at Fair Grounds in New Orleans with his first mount of the day in the third race of the afternoon.
The victory came with a 3 1/2- length tally aboard Robert and Lawana Low’s Native Mambo, trained by Steve Margolis.
It feels great to do it here in front of everybody that has supported me throughout my career,” said Lanerie following post-race ceremonies that included posing in the winner’s circle with the entire Fair Grounds jockey colony. He was also joined in the winner’s circle by his wife Shantel and 3-year-old daughter Brittlyn.
“First I want to say thank you to all the trainers and owners who gave me every opportunity that I had,” the rider said. “If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be standing here today, so thanks to everybody. It feels great to do it here in Louisiana.”
Lanerie began his career in 1991 at Evangeline Downs and relocated to Fair Grounds that same year. The son of former jockey-turned-trainer Gerald Lanerie was asked if remembered his first win.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” said Lanerie, the son of Gerald Lanerie, a jockey who later became a trainer. “It was for C. D. Delahoussaye on April 19, 1991. The horse was named High Hopes Banquet. I was told to get on the fence and stay there. I stayed there and went through a hole that probably wasn’t really there. That young and inexperienced, I didn’t know any better. I remember it very well.”
Lanerie said riding Parade Leader to victory in the 2002 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) was one of the highlights of his career. He also mentioned riding Posse to victory in the 2003 Riva Ridge Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) on the Belmont Stakes undercard as another vivid highlight.
Lanerie is nominated for the prestigious 2011 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, presented annually to a jockey riding in North America who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct on and off the racetrack. The award is voted on by members of the Jockeys’ Guild who choose from among their peers nominated by Guild regional managers.
“With my little girl coming along, things seem to be falling into place for me right now and I hope it continues,” said Lanerie. “I’m probably having the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s special right now. It’s fun.”