Corey Lanerie reaches 5000 wins
Jockey Corey Lanerie celebrates after winning his 5000th race aboard I Feel the Need at Keeneland.
Jockey Corey Lanerie, a native of Lafayette Louisiana, notched career win number 5000 in the third race at Keeneland on Thursday, October 19 aboard 2-1 favorite I Feel the Need for trainer Chris Hartman in a $40,000 claiming race. The 48-year-old started his riding career at Evangeline Downs in Lafayette in 1991, and won his first stakes race the next year at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. After the race he said, "It's beautiful. 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. A lot of hard work and the first thing that crosses your mind is everybody in the past who helped you get there from when I started – the people who taught me how to ride – and all my family and friends that supported me the whole time, all the owners and trainers that stood by me, the horses that ran for me. I was just so blessed to have a career like this. People, including myself, just dream of a career like this, and I was able to fulfill it and do what I've had so much passion about since I was three years old. All I wanted to be was a jockey. God blessed me with enough talent to be able to do it as a career. I can't thank Him enough."
Asked if he felt any pressure to win the 5000th, he added, "If I (said) no, I would be lying. 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. Family sticking by you is key because when we lose 80% of the time, we're doing really good. I just thank family and a lot of the trainers that stuck with me. One of my first ones were Mike Stidham and Steve Asmussen. They gave me a chance to ride first call for both of them. I got to get on better horses, and it made me a much better rider. There's so many of them to thank. I couldn't possibly do it right here." Asked how long he intends to ride, he said, "My dad still gallops horses in the morning. He is 72."
Corey Lanerie after finishing second in the 2017 Kentucky Derby aboard Lookin At Lee.
He is the 38th North American jockey to win 5,000 races. Among jockeys listed as active, Lanerie is 12th behind Perry Ouzts (7,418 wins as of Oct. 17) and John Velazquez (6,543). The all-time leader is Russell Baze (12,842) followed by Laffit Pincay Jr. (9,530), Bill Shoemaker (8,833), Pat Day (8,803) and Ouzts. A longtime regular on the Kentucky circuit, Lanerie is Keeneland's sixth leading rider of all time by wins. He rode his first winner here during the 2000 Fall Meet and was the track's leading jockey of the 2015 Fall Meet. He has won 13 stakes, including three victories in the Central Bank Ashland (G1) – aboard Hooh Why (2009), Weep No More (2016) and Sailor's Valentine (2017) – and the 2015 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) on Brody's Cause. The Louisville resident also has captured numerous Churchill Downs titles. In 2014, he won the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, which "honors riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing."
Corey Lanerie after winning the 2016 Lecomte Stakes aboard Mo Tom.
Lanerie grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, a region known for its horse racing culture and the starting point for some of the sport's most successful riders. His grandfather was a trainer and his father was a jockey and trainer. Lanerie honed his riding skills at informal weekend race meets before launching his professional career in 1991 and winning his first race that year at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana. He has two second place finishes in Triple Crown competition, aboard Lookin at Lee in the 2017 Derby and Cherry Wine in the 2016 Preakness. In the Breeders' Cup has has three third place finishes, aboard Bell's the One in the 2020 Filly and Mare Sprint, Dothraki Queen in the 2015 Juvenile Fillies, and Brody's Cause in the 2015 Juvenile. Bell's the One is by far his best horse, winner of $1.884 million including wins in the 2019 Raven Run Stakes (G2), 2020 Derby City Distaff (G1) and Winning Colors (G3), and the Honorable Miss (G2) and Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) in 2021. His next best was Molly Morgan, winner of $715,330 including wins in the 2015 La Troienne (G1) and the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2), Gardenia Stakes (G1), and Chilukki Stakes (G2) in 2014. At time of writing he has 5,000 wins, 4,851 seconds, and 4,667 thirds in 34,597 mounts, with purse earnings of $159,829,531. In graded stakes competition he has 65 wins, 105 seconds, and 127 thirds in 994 mounts, with purse earnings of $20,445,453.
Corey Lanerie after finishing second in the 2016 Beverly D Stakes aboard Al's Gal.
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