Jockey Corey Lanerie gets milestone 5,000th win
Lafayette native Corey Lanerie became the 38th jockey in North American history to win 5,000 career races Wednesday with his win aboard I Feel the Need at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.
“It’s beautiful,” Lanerie said after his milestone win. “I have been waiting a long time and it seems like I got right on it and I could never get over the hump, but today we got over the hump and hopefully we keep rolling.”
It was 17 days between victories for Lanerie, who earned win No. 4,999 at Churchill Downs on Oct. 1.
“If I (said) no, I would be lying,” Lanerie said of the pressure to reach the milestone. “Especially after a while and riding a few favorites and nothing was happening. Everyone kept asking ‘Is this the one? Is this the one?’ and I kept saying ‘I hope so.’ It puts a little pressure on, but we live through pressure.”
Much of Lanerie’s career success has come in the Bluegrass State. He has won a record 19 riding titles at Churchill Downs and ranks sixth all-time at Keeneland in wins.
Lanerie, who won his first career race at Evangeline Downs in 1991, rode regularly at Fair Grounds in the 1990s and 2000s. He returned last year to ride and had an emotional finish to the meet, capturing the stakes race named in honor of his late wife, Shantel.
He has seven career Grade I wins, most recently in the 2020 Derby City Distaff at Churchill aboard Bell’s the One. His biggest win at Fair Grounds was the 2002 New Orleans Handicap aboard Parade Leader.
Of the select group of riders with 5,000 wins, more than one-fifth of them are from Louisiana, and all of them were born in the Acadiana region.
Lanerie, 48, joins Eddie Delahoussaye (6,384), Kent Desormeaux (6,166), Calvin Borel (5,288), Ronald Ardoin (5,226), Robby Albarado (5,222), Mark Guidry (5,222) and Gerard Melancon (5,107) as state-born riders who have reached 5,000 wins. Desormeaux, Borel and Melancon also remain active.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…