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Geroux & McGee Get 1,000th Victories
Florent Geroux Gets Victory 1,000
Placing the proverbial cherry on top of a career year, jockey Florent Geroux won his 1,000th race on Thursday afternoon at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The defending meet champion rider guided Flurry Racing Stables’ Brad Cox-trained Mr. Misunderstood to a resounding 3½-length victory over the Stall-Wilson turf course, adding to a season that has seen the 30-year-old native of France win 10 Grade I events. The win was his 214th of 2016, adding to his more than $17.5 million in earnings this year and in excess of $45.1 million throughout his career thus far.
Geroux, a decorated apprentice in his native country, came to the United States in 2007 and rode his first stakes winner in 2010. Over the last two seasons, the married father of two’s career has skyrocketed with three Breeders’ Cup victories, multiple titles and regularly piloting such top horses as champion sprinter Work All Week, Grade I-winning Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup-placed Gun Runner, multiple Grade I-winning Eclipse Finalists I’m a Chatterbox and The Pizza Man, globetrotting Breeders’ Cup champion Mongolian Saturday and Canadian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse.
“It’s a great feeling,” Geroux said. “I’ve had a big year and it has been lots of hard work. It’s been a big team effort with the owners, trainers and my agent Doug Bredar. A lot of miles and sacrifice with my family, but it feels great to get the first thousand. I can’t wait to get another and I hope it comes even quicker.”
Paul McGee Gets Victory 1,000
Trainer Paul McGee earned his 1,000th career victory on Thursday afternoon at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots by saddling well-regarded sophomore December Seven to an authoritative allowance victory under jockey James Graham for longtime client Jay Em Ess Stable of Samantha Siegel.
The 54-year-old native of Louisville, Kentucky, spends his year between New Orleans in the winter and various Kentucky tracks through the remainder of the year and has won 19 graded stakes throughout his career. His two Grade I victories include the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in 2003 with Honor in War and the Hollywood Starlet in 2000 with I Believe in You. Other notable pupils include multiple Grade II winner Suave, top handicappers Majestic Harbor and Demarcation and 14-time stakes winner and two-time Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint-placed Bet On Sunshine.
Renowned for his patience, the Bellarmine College alum has a career strike rate of 18.1% with career earnings in excess of $31.2 million. McGee, who began as a hotwalker at age 15, saddled his first career winner on June 23, 1987 at Churchill Downs with Pabarene.
“It feels great,” McGee said afterward. “Samantha has been a great client for many years and a great friend. I don’t know how many of the thousand were for Jay Em Ess Stable, but it was a lot and it’s good to do it for Samantha.”