Big Day for Albarado As He Earns 4,000th Career Win, Then Guides Bold Start to Aristides Victory

May 30, 2009 Gary Yunt

A landmark day for jockey Robby Albarado got even better when he guided Lawrence Carroll’s Bold Start to a 2 ¾-length victory over Semaphore Man in Saturday’s 21st running of the $112,600 Aristides (Grade III) for sprinters at Churchill Downs.

            One race earlier, Albarado became the 56th North American jockey to reach the 4,000-victory milestone when he rode Barbara Hunter’s Keertana ($5.20) to victory in the ninth race at Churchill Downs.

            In his milestone triumph, Albarado split horses in deep stretch on the Matt Winn Turf Course to edge Kiss Mine by three-quarters of a length for the victory.

A 35-year-old native of Lafayette, La., Albarado rode his first winner at age 16 at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana. Albarado, who won his first Churchill Downs riding title at the 2008 Spring Meet, has ridden 812 of his 4,001 winners beneath the Twin Spires, the sixth-largest win total in track history.

Albarado was the regular rider for two-time Horse of the Year Curlin on which he earned his only victory in a Triple Crown race, the 2007 Preakness. Albarado also was the regular rider for 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft.

In his career, Albarado has ridden more than 24,000 races with earnings in excess of $149 million.

In the Aristides, Albarado rated Bold Start in third place in the run down the backside just off the pace set by Garifine, who was tracked by Semaphore Man through a first quarter-mile in :21.88. The top three remained unchanged to the head of the lane after a half-mile in :44.73.

In the stretch, Semaphore Man grabbed a brief lead under Jesus Castanon, but was headed at the eighth pole by Bold Start, who drew away to the victory. Knights Cross rallied for third under Corey Lanerie, finishing three-quarters of a length in back of Semaphore Man.


            Bold Start, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Jump Start out of the Flying Paster mare Dorky, returned $10.80, $5.80 and $4.80. Semaphore Man paid his backers $6.40 and $4.40 with Knights Cross returning $10.40 to show.

Completing the field in order were favored Sok Sok, Grand Sensation, Premium Wine, Success Success, Vicarian, Garifine and Early Return. Cassoulet was scratched.

Bold Start covered the six furlongs on a fast main track in 1:09.04.


The victory was worth $66,321 and increased Bold Start’s career earnings to $528,810 with nine victories in 31 starts. Four of the victories have come on the main track at Churchill Downs.

Racing resumes Sunday with a 10-race card beginning with a 12:45 p.m. EDT post time.


KEN McPEEK, trainer of BOLD START (winner)

 “He deserves it. He’s been so solid for so long. It seems like he was always knocking on the door but hadn’t quite gotten over it. I’m thrilled he did it here. He’s still got plenty of good races left in him. He loves it here. He’s just rock solid. He always does everything right. We’ve found a little niche with him sprinting. When he was younger I tried him a little long and a little on turf and even then he ran well. We have plenty of options.”

ROBBY ALBARADO, jockey on BOLD START (winner)

“He ran good last time. I think his Churchill record speaks for itself. He excels when he gets here to Churchill. It seems to be that he runs well in the bigger races. Kenny (McPeek) has done a great job getting him ready for today.

Q: Were you confident on the final turn?

“Honestly, I was real confident because he broke so well and put himself into a forward position where he gave himself a chance. . . . It worked out well for us to go 1:09 flat. He’s a good horse.”

Q: On 4,000 career victories:

 “I guess my next goal would be 5,000. That’s kind of the end your career or the retirement number for most jocks. Once you get to that 5,000, you start looking for the way out. I’m not saying that’s my way out, but you set goals for yourself.

“I never thought I’d get to 4,000 so it’s an honor. I’ve got to congratulate all of the owners and trainers who have supported me continuously throughout the years. They stuck by me, and it’s pretty much been the same guys for the last 10 to 15 years.”

JESUS CASTANON, jockey on SEMAPHORE MAN (runner-up)

“I had a good trip.  The horse broke sharp out of the gate and I wasn’t really trying to get ahead of the other one (Garifine), but my horse was running.  He made an easy lead going to the five-sixteenths pole, but the winner had a lot of horse and he just kind of got outrun the rest of the way.

            “He gave me a nice burst at the top of the stretch.  When I asked him to go, he really gave me a nice little kick, but the last sixteenth of a mile he just couldn’t  keep up with the winner.”



“He ran awesome.  His post position (nine) suited him well.  Last time he was in between speed horses, but today on the outside he broke and got to sit a little off of it with no pressure.  We wanted to sit back a little, or just be wherever he was comfortable, and he really finished up. He was just third best.” 


SHAUN BRIDGMOHAN, rider of SOK SOK (fourth as the favorite)

“He broke good enough and it kind of set up real good.  I was cruising in behind ‘em and they got away from him a little in the turn, so I got after him a little bit.  He ran pretty good.  He hung in there and he tried to come back on them there are the end.”


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