New Sheriff In Town

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 2, 2008 in General Discussion, News | No Comments >>

Jockey Julien Leparoux broke a 23-year-old Churchill Downs record for wins at a fall meet Nov. 28th when he rode Just Like William to a head victory in the third race, for his 56th victory of the meet.

In the second race, Leparoux rode Calabria to tie the mark set by Hall of Fame rider Pat Day in 1985, when he rode 55 winners in a 30-day meet. Day rode an average of 1.8 winners per day for the meet that ran 271 races. Day’s success rate was 28.6% (55 for 192).

The current meet, which concludes on Nov. 29th, runs for 26 days and offers 268 races. Leparoux, through race four on Nov. 28th, was hitting at a 29.2% win rate (56 for 192) and averaging 2.2 winners a day. He had eight mounts remaining Nov. 28th, and is named on nine mounts for Nov. 29th.

“This has been kind of a chain (reaction),” Leparoux said. “I ride for Mike Maker who broke the record (for wins by a trainer at a Churchill fall meet (with 29 through race three on Nov. 28th), and Ken (and Sarah) Ramsey, who broke a record, too.”

The Ramseys set a record for wins by an owner at Churchill fall meet with 24 through race three on Nov. 28th.

“When you ride for people who win … it has been a good team,” Leparoux said. “I really think that’s what made this happen. We’ve had a lot of success with Mike and the Ramseys. What’s funny about this is that I never really thought about (breaking Day’s record) until I went to an appointment last Tuesday in Louisville and a guy told me, ‘Just don’t beat him because we love Pat Day over here! Can you just tie it? Don’t beat him!’ I thought that was kind of funny. I like the Louisville people, but I’ve got to keep winning races.”

Three of his victories have come in stakes, and Leparoux’s best day of the meet came on Nov. 11th when he rode a record-tying single-day total of seven winners. He was blanked only one day, Nov. 2nd, when he had nine mounts.

After the Churchill meet concludes, Leparoux plans to vacation for 10 days in Hawaii, with his best friend from France, before riding at the Gulfstream Park winter meet in Florida.