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Thomas Pompell reaches 3000 wins


Jockey Thomas Pompell celebrates after winning his 3000th race aboard Tappin Fora Dance at Delta Downs.
Date: 1/14/2024

Jockey Thomas Pompell, a native of Tampa, Florida notched career win number 3,000 in the fifth race at Delta Downs on Thursday, January 11 aboard 13-2 shot Tappin Fora Dance for trainer Alvin Romero and co-owners Ronnie Huff, Danny Bone, and Danny Booth in an $11,000 race for $4,000 older claimers sprinting 7 furlongs, after notching his 2,999th win aboard longshot Cherokee Summer in the second race about 2 hours earlier. Pompell sat his mount in 5th about 3 lengths behind pacesetting 4-1 Incorrigible ridden by Vicente Del-Cid, came out 3 wide for room into the lane and rallied to win by a length in 1:28.03 over the fast main track. It was another 3 3/4 lengths back to 9-4 favorite Tapit's Spirit (Sergio Munoz aboard) in third.

Born in Florida, Pompell is a third generation jockey, growing up at his grandfather Gerald DeLong's farm in southern Illinois before taking out his jockey license in September 1996 and getting his first win aboard his first mount at a parimutuel track at Fairmount Park.


Thomas Pompell after winning the Glen Gallivan Special at Tampa Bay Downs aboard Last Slew way back in 2004
His best season by far was 2021 when his mounts earned $2.8 million, winning 15% and finishing in the money 46% of the time, however his mounts earned more per start a year later, when in 2022 despite just earning under $2.5 million his mounts averages $4,916 per start vs $3,728 in 2021. He has never finished in the money in graded stakes competition in just 18 rides lifetime, with earnings of $82,780, but he does have 76 wins in 534 starts in ungraded stakes company, earning $4.5 million.

His best horse to date was the Indiana-bred mare Joyous Lady, winner of $398,273 with him aboard, including the $100,000 Richmond Stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis in 2017, and the $100,000 Shelby County Stakes in 2016 and 2017 also at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Close behind was Arkansas-bred mare Ministry, winner of $285,800 with him aboard, including the 2017 Rainbow Miss Stakes and 2018 Downthedustyroad Breeders' Stakes, both at Oaklawn Park with $100,000 purses. He also rode Ministry to a 4th place finish beaten 2 lengths in the 2018 Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. Third best is Indiana-bred gelding Heza Wild Guy, winner of $264,226 when Pompell rode, including the $70,000 A.J. Foyt Stakes in 2008 and 2009 at Horseshoe Indianapolis (Heza Wild Guy would go on to complete the three-peat in 2010 but with Miguel Mena aboard).

At time of writing (January 14, 2024) Pompell has a record of 3,001 wins, 3,039 seconds, and 2,978 thirds in 23,595 rides, with purse earnings of $43,510,355. It took him awhile to reach 3,000 after winning his 2,500th back in September 2017 at Indiana Grand. At the time he said, "This win feels really great today. I started riding in 1996 but didn't come to Indiana until 1997. I missed the first few years of racing at Indiana Grand (then known as Indiana Downs and now Horseshoe Indianapolis) when they started in 2003 because I would go to Florida in the winter and didn't come back up for the spring meet, but I've been here ever since."

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