Wednesday, March 1, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 1, 2006 . . . Jockey Dean Butler reached the 1,000 career-win mark Wednesday with his gate-to-wire victory aboard Whose Career in Turfway Park’s 9th race, the final race on the card.
Trained by Dale Romans and owned by Brereton Jones, Whose Career was the 2-1 favorite in the one-mile race for $5,000 claimers. After running easily along the rail with Unbridled Trick just off his flank, Whose Career drew off in the stretch just as easily to win by 7 1/2 lengths.
Butler, 34, a native of Saratoga Springs, New York, was in his teens when he started grooming horses for Jack Van Berg in California. He then galloped horses for several years before deciding to ride as a jockey. Returning to the East Coast, he rode his first winner in 1993 at Suffolk Downs and that year won two riding titles at Philadelphia Park. He rode regularly at Monmouth before moving his tack to Kentucky in 2002. Among his 19 career stakes wins are the Polynesian Stakes at Pimlico and the Baltimore Budweiser Breeders’ Cup at Laurel Park, both Grade III, and the Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup at Turfway.
Butler’s career has been interrupted several times by injuries, most recently a lower-leg fracture sustained during a race at Turfway on February 18, 2005. The fracture, which was stabilized surgically with a rod and screws, kept him out of competition for about six months. He currently ranks ninth among Turfway’s jockeys during the Winter/Spring Meet with 15 wins, 17 seconds, and 12 thirds from 109 mounts.