Jockey Julien Leparoux rode In My Time to a one-length win in Wednesday’s ninth race at Churchill Downs to secure his 2,000th career win.
It took Leparoux, a 31-year-old native of Senlis, France, 18 attempts to land the milestone since capturing win No. 1,999 at Keeneland on Oct. 24.
“I’m glad we got it out of the way; now we can focus on the next wins and the Breeders’ Cup,” said Leparoux, who has five Breeders’ Cup mounts on Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita aboard Danny Boy (Juvenile Turf), Lady Zuzu (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Southern Honey (Filly & Mare Sprint), Ageless (Turf Sprint) and Sayaad (Mile).
“For the past nine years that I’ve been riding it’s been an interesting journey. I’ve been able to ride so many good horses and have won so many races. The main thing is to stay safe and healthy and try to keep winning races – that’s it.”
Leparoux, the son of the late jockey and trainer Robert Leparoux, dreamed of becoming a jockey while growing in Chantilly, France. He rode competitive hunter/jumpers until his father allowed him to begin a racing career at age 18.
In January 2003, Leparoux came to the United States and worked as an exercise rider for trainer Patrick Biancone. As Leparoux’s riding talents became evident, the French trainer made Leparoux his first-call rider in August 2005 at Saratoga when he took out his jockey’s license.
Leparoux rode his first winner in his third mount on Aug. 18, 2005 aboard Easter Guardian in a Saratoga maiden special weight. In nine years, he’s ridden in 10,674 races, won 163 graded stakes events and his mounts have amassed $109,741,659.
Leparoux first rode at Churchill Downs in the fall of 2005 and has won 619 races beneath the Twin Spires – which ranks 10th all time – and nine local riding titles.