Louisiana native Kent Desormeaux rides 6,000th winner
Hall of Fame jockey and Louisiana native Kent Desormeaux became the 19th jockey in North American Thoroughbred racing history to reach 6,000 wins Sunday at Santa Anita Park in California.
Desormeaux, a native of Maurice, was aboard X S Gold in a one-mile turf race for the milestone victory.
Only one other Louisiana native has eclipsed the 6,000-win mark – New Iberia native Eddie Delahoussaye, who booted home 6,383 winners in his illustrious career, which ranks 15th all-time.
With 15 Louisiana-born jockeys among the select group of 75 to have won 4,000 or more races, moving to the top of the Louisiana list would be a great accomplishment, and it’s his next goal.
“I can’t wait to wake up every day and pass Eddie,” the 48-year-old Desormeaux said in an interview on the track’s simulcast feed Sunday. “I’m a very goal-oriented jockey, so I have about 380 more wins to go. I’m not going anywhere before then.
“I can humbly say that I’m truly honored and proud of the number—6,000. I can definitely attest that it wasn’t easy to get here, especially the last two months. … I also know that I am truly appreciative of everyone that gave me the confidence to take the reins.”
Desormeaux has seven wins in Triple Crown races and three Eclipse Awards as the nation’s top jockey to his credit.
After getting his start – and his first career win – at Evangeline Downs in 1986, Desormeaux moved to the Maryland circuit. In 1989, he set a single-year record for wins with 598 that has stood the test of time for three decades.
The list of all-time leading jockeys from Louisiana:
|Eddie Delahoussaye||New Iberia||N||39,212||6,383||5,676||5,586|
|Calvin Borel||St. Martin Parish||Y||35,956||5,221||4,733||4,138|
|Craig Perret||New Orleans||N||27,164||4,415||3,895||3,611|
|Eddie Martin Jr.||New Orleans||Y||31,380||4,025||4,086||3,839|
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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;…