Monday, February 24, 2003

Jockeys overcome hurdles

Despite bad weather, three hit milestones at Turfway

By Gina Holt
Enquirer contributor

FLORENCE - Turfway Park is setting records - some dismal, some downright exciting.

The thoroughbred track canceled its ninth straight day of live racing Sunday because of winter weather.

But on the days the weather has been good enough to race in the last 30 days, three jockeys have reached major riding milestones.

And a fourth rider is just four wins away from reaching another record.

Jockeys Rodney Prescott and Mary Doser both collected their 1,000th wins earlier this month. Turfway Park's leading rider Jason Lumpkins achieved his 2,000-career win on Jan. 31.

"It`s really unusual to have so many jockeys hit milestones in such a short time on one track," Turfway spokeswoman Jennifer Haas said.

Lumpkins was aboard Ray Cottrell Sr.'s A May Zing Devil for his milestone ride. He has had four five-win days since Jan. 1 and rode 48 winners during the month.

"I wasn't sure I was going to get there," said Lumpkins, who won the race in a photo finish with Unfaced. "It's a good feeling. I knew I was getting close.''

Lumpkins could reach several other milestones during the Winter-Spring Meet, which runs through April 3.

He is chasing jockey Kris Prather's 2001 records of six wins on one card and 109 victories for a meet.

Doser has become one of 14 female riders in the world who have collected their 1,000 win, hers aboard October Optimist in the eighth race at Turfway.

"You don't ever think you'll get there," Doser said. "This is really great. Things have just been falling into place lately."

Prescott, leading rider of Turfway's 2002 Holiday Meet, collected his 1,000th career victory aboard My Name's Jamie in the first race during this meet.

Doser almost kept Prescott from reaching the milestone when her mount, Kellie's Ghost, came flying late to finish in a tight photo with My Name's Jamie.

"I felt pretty confident I was going to win until the last jump," said Prescott. "I really thought she had caught me.''

Prescott is ranked third in the Turfway standings, behind Lumpkins and Dean Butler.

Meanwhile, jockey Billy Troilo remains four wins away from 2,000.

The track hopes to resume live racing on Wednesday, and plans Monday live racing during March to make up for the cancellations.

Despite an ice storm, two snowstorms and several days of steady rain, Turfway remains upbeat. The track said Sunday it received 142 nominations in the 32nd running of the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes. Lane's End is the track's Kentucky Derby prep race scheduled for March 22.

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