Florent Geroux Scores 2,000th Career North American Win on Thursday at Fair Grounds
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Kevin Kilroy
Notes Writer/Media Relations
Scintillating sprinter Strobe faces Tulane Tryst in Friday’s feature
Rivelli reports on Two Phil’s plans coming out of bold second in Lecomte
New Orleans, La (Jan 26, 2023) – Jockey Florent Geroux rode his 2,000th career North American winner Thursday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, piloting Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Warrant (1-5 favorite) to the victory in race 5.
The 36-year-old native of Argentan, France, had closed to within one victory of the milestone in Saturday’s first race aboard New Destiny before reaching the mark aboard the Brad Cox-trainee on Thursday. Geroux has been the first call for Cox barn on many of their top horses recently, including Mandaloun and Monomoy Girl. Geroux will pilot Cyberknife for that stable in Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
“It feels great,” Geroux said. “It’s a big relief to be honest. Especially before this weekend with a big day like the Pegasus and being on the favorite, Cyberknife. I can go there and enjoy every moment.”
Geroux’s first win came in 2004 at Longchamp on Chopyluz. A graduate of the French riding Academy, Afasec, in 2007 Geroux had a false start in the United States after falling and suffering a broken wrist and two broken vertebrae on opening day at Keeneland. He returned to the U.S. in 2008, making Chicago his homebase.
“I would like to thank my family and close friends for their support,” Geroux said. “It is important to have people behind you especially with all the ups and downs in this business, and they have always been cheering for me. Also, all the trainers and owners who gave me the opportunity to reach this number. Brad (trainer Brad Cox) definitely helped. He has been my go-to guy the past few years. Thanks to my agent John Panagot right now, and of course (former agent) Doug Bredar who put me on almost all of those winners. Thanks to them. I love you guys.”
Having joined the local colony in 2013, 540 of his 2,000 wins have come at Fair Grounds, where he holds two riding titles (2015-2016 & 2016-2017). His first crown was earned in 2011 at Hawthorne.
Geroux’s father, Dominique Geroux, was a jockey and later a trainer in France.
Having won many of the sport’s top races, Geroux scored his first Breeders’ Cup victory in the 2014 Sprint aboard Work All Week and has gone on to win six more, including two Distaffs astride Monomoy Girl and the 2017 Classic with Gun Runner. In 2021 he rode Mandaloun across the line second in the Kentucky Derby, but he was later named the adjudicated winner following the disqualification of Medina Spirit.
On Friday in race 7 at Fair Grounds, Geroux will look to score win number 2,001 aboard the Cox-trainee Strobe.
Exiting a sensational local debut, Godolphin’s lightly-raced homebred Strobe looks to back up that win and 101 Brisnet Speed figure on Friday, Jan. 27 in race 7 of 8 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Post time is 4:15 p.m. CT for the conditional $80,000 optional claimer written for older horses going six furlongs.
Trained by Brad Cox, Strobe debuted a winner in 2022 on Kentucky Derby day and has gone on to win two more for a career record of 3-1-0 in 4 starts. His lone loss came on a sloppy track going longer last fall at Churchill Downs. Bet to favoritism in all four races, Strobe has the record, the figures, and the attention of his backers to lead one to believe his price will be near or below his 4-5 morning line odds in Friday’s race.
The sensational sprinter has yet to take on stakes company, but others in this field have, including Daivd Ingordo’s Tulane Tryst. Exiting a seventh place finish in the $100,000 Richie Scherer, Tulane Tryst finished second last spring in Oaklawn Park’s Whitmore (G3) and ran fifth in the 2021 Woody Stephens (G1). Trained by Cherie DeVaux, the Into Mischief 5-year-old is pegged at 3-1 in the morning line and will get the services of Brian Hernandez Jr., breaking from post No.3.
A 4-year-old by Into Mischief, Strobe has put in three local works since his last start, including breezing four furlongs in :49 flat on Jan. 21, the eighth best of 85 morning works at that distance.
Drawing post No. 5, Strobe will receive the services of jockey Florent Geroux who reached career win 2,000 in North America aboard Warrant on Thursday.
Trainer Larry Rivelli reports that Patricia’s Hope LLC and Phillip Sagan’s Two Phil’s came out of his race doing well, having run a bold second to Instant Coffee in Saturday’s Lecomte (G3).
“Phil came out of the race great so far,” Rivelli said. “We were extremely happy with his performance (in the Lecomte). He will remain at Fair Grounds to train up to his next race, either the Risen Star, the Tampa Bay Derby, or the Louisiana Derby.”
The Risen Star (G2) will offer 50-20-15-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points and will be run on Feb. 18. The $1,000,000 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) (100-40-30-20-10) will be held on March 25.
Ridden by Jareth Loveberry, the son of Hard Spun out of the General Quarters mare Mia Torri was bred by owner Phillip Sagan in Kentucky.
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 ended on Sunday with Two Phil’s at 91-1. He is currently tenth in the Kentucky Derby standings with the eight qualifying points he earned finishing second in the Lecomte. Two Phil’s has ran a 93 Brisnet Speed figure in both of his last two races, including winning October’s Street Sense (G3) at Churchill Downs.
About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds, which is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 15 off-track betting parlors throughout Southeast Louisiana. The 151st Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 110th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from Nov 18, 2022 through March 26, 2023. More information is available online at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.