Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 29, 2006 . . . Apprentice jockey Julien Leparoux broke the Turfway Park record for most wins in a single meet when he guided Harpers Lane to a front-running victory in the sixth race Wednesday night. The win was Leparoux’s 151st since the Winter/Spring Meet began January 1.
The previous record had been 150, set in the 2004 Winter/Spring Meet by Peruvian standout Rafael Bejarano. Bejarano rode 472 mounts in establishing his mark. Leparoux tied the record in Wednesday’s fourth race with his 479th mount and broke the record with his 481st ride of the meet. At the end of racing Wednesday, Leparoux’s stats for the meet stood at 151 wins, 98 seconds, and 60 thirds from 483 mounts for purse earnings of $1,488,799.
Second in the Turfway Park standings for the meet is Willie Martinez with 41 wins from 264 mounts. Leparoux’s 151 wins at Turfway also put him atop the national jockey standings by wins.
The 22-year-old Leparoux has been riding professionally just since August 2005. His first win came on August 18 at Saratoga aboard Easter Guardian. He rode his first race at Turfway Park in September, earning a second-place finish aboard Ball Four in the $350,000 Grade II Kentucky Cup Classic. He earned his first career stakes win, the $50,000 Likely Exchange, at Turfway Park on February 11, and earlier this month guided Ball Four to a win in the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes, also at Turfway.
A native of Chantilly, France, Leparoux began working as a stable hand and exercise rider when he turned 18 but had been riding horses since he was 11 and was already well acquainted with racing; his father, Robert, had been an assistant trainer before his death in 2003. Leparoux came to the United States later that year to work as an exercise rider for trainer and fellow Frenchman Patrick Biancone.
Racing continues Thursday with first post at 5:30 p.m. Six days of live racing remain in Turfway’s Winter/Spring Meet, which ends April 6.