Corey Lanerie became only the 19th jockey to register 400 career wins at Churchill Downs when 2-year-old Pushthebuttonmax prevailed in Friday’s eighth race, a $50,000 maiden special weight.
“It feels awesome,” Lanerie said. “It doesn’t seem like I’ve been here that long to win 400 races. It’s great to do it here at Churchill Downs, the capital of racing.”
Lanerie, a Lafayette, La. native who will celebrate his 38th birthday on Tuesday (Nov. 13), rode his first winner at Churchill Downs during the 2000 Fall Meet, and has ridden at the home of the Kentucky Derby on a regular basis since 2005.
Lanerie began his riding career in 1991 and has amassed 3,347 career wins, including 192 stakes wins, of which 23 came in graded-stakes company. His mounts have earned in excess of $77.8 million.
Friday’s milestone triumph gave him 10 Fall Meet victories to share the colony lead with Shaun Bridgmohan.
With veteran agent Terry “Jaws” Miller booking mounts, Lanerie is peaking in his 22nd year in the saddle. He began the day with $5.9 million in earnings this year – which ranked 26th nationally – and is on pace to eclipse his personal-best annual earnings mark of $6,187,084 in 2003. While winning races at an 18.9% clip, he’s won 15 stakes races in 2012, including four graded events: the Marshua’s River (Grade III) on Heavenly Landing; Firecracker Handicap (GII) on Guys Reward; Jessamine (GIII) on Moonwalk; and Chilukki (GII) on Brushed by a Star.
Lanerie wrapped his first Churchill Downs riding title during the 38-day Spring Meet with 71 wins – 24 ahead of runner-up Bridgmohan’s 47. His rate of 1.87 wins-per-day was the highest at a Churchill Downs Spring Meet since Steve Brooks won 46 races during the 19-day season of 1948, some 64 years ago.
Lanerie’s lone career Grade I triumph came in the 2009 Ashland at Keeneland aboard longshot Hooh Why – a pickup mount when Rene Douglas took ill and was unable to ride. His victory aboard Parade Leader in the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (Grade II) in 2002 is considered to be one of his greatest thrills.
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