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Another day, another record: Bejarano gets 114

Saturday, March 13, 2004 12:00 AM
  • General
Third stakes win with Ask the Lord
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 13, 2004 . . . Another day, another record for jockey Rafael Bejarano, who Saturday broke the Turfway Park record for most wins in a meet. Bejarano, a 21-year-old rider from Peru, won Saturday’s 10th race, the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes, for his 112th victory of the Winter/Spring Meet. The previous record, 111 wins, was set by Jason Lumpkins last year, also during the Winter/Spring Meet. Bejarano went on to add wins in the 11th and 12th races as well to claim five on a day for the third time this meet and boost the record to 114. Thirteen days remain in the meet, which began January 1.

The new record came one day after Bejarano also broke the track record for most wins in a day. He won seven races on Friday, March 12, beating by one the record he shared with Kris Prather, who first set the six-win mark in 2001. Commenting on the double record, one fan noted that the jockey had won 12 races in just over 24 hours.

Bejarano’s record-breaking win came aboard Ask the Lord, a 7-year-old gelding trained by Bernard Flint and owned by Flint’s L.T.B. Inc. and R. A. Williams. The Tejano Run was Ask the Lord’s third stakes win at Turfway Park since Flint claimed him in October 2003. The Flint-Bejarano-Ask the Lord combination had previously taken the $50,000 Prairie Bayou in December and the $50,000 Dust Commander last month.

“It feels good to get it done,” Bejarano said of the record. “And he [Ask the Lord] is a very good horse. He likes the track now, like this [fast]. He didn’t like it wet, [when he finished fifth in a January optional claiming race at Oaklawn]. He broke good, he had speed today, but I held him in position. I kept him fourth and third. I had a lot of horse at the 3/8ths [pole]. I let him go a little, a little more, and go more to moving at the quarter pole. I had a lot of horse—no whipping, nothing. It was very good.”

Play It Out, Tony D’Amico up, broke first and kept the lead until fading to third in the last furlong. He finished 1 3/4 lengths behind Brice Blanc on Collateral Damage, who was last in the field of seven for nearly half the race but closed from fifth in the stretch to finish 2 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Ask the Lord broke second but was taken back to fourth, where he held steady until Bejarano turned him loose, moved him up along the inside, and swung out to close for the win.

Completing the order of finish were Grey Beard (Eddie Zuniga), Scalia (Jason Lumpkins), Twin Talk (Billy Troilo), and Wendlar (Perry Ouzts). Final time over the 1 1/8-mile course was 1:49.82. Ask the Lord, highweight by five and seven pounds at 121, paid $3.20 for the win.

Bejarano entered the day with 109 wins in the Turfway Winter/Spring Meet and won the 3rd race with Exile Lark before spinning off victories in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th races. He now leads all jockeys nationwide with 116 wins.

Earlier, Blinkit was scratched from the second race after unseating both Rodney Prescott and Rhonda Collins in the gate. Prescott, the original rider, injured a hand; X-rays revealed no broken bones. He was off his mounts for the rest of the card. Collins appeared to be unhurt.

Racing resumes Sunday at Turfway at 1:10 p.m. EST.

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