Jockey Robby Albarado on verge of joining select group with 5,000 wins

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Robby Albarado won his 4,999th career race Saturday aboard Guest Suite in the Lecomte Stakes.

Robby Albarado won his 4,999th career race Saturday aboard Guest Suite in the Lecomte Stakes.

It could happen as soon as today at the Fair Grounds.

Lafayette native Robby Albarado is poised to become the 33rd North American Thoroughbred jockey – and the sixth born in Louisiana – to win 5,000 races.

Albarado won No. 4,999 in a big way Saturday, capturing the Grade III Lecomte Stakes aboard Guest Suite for his longtime client, trainer Neil Howard.

It was Howard that gave Albarado the opportunity to ride 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft. That same year, Albarado hit a milestone at Fair Grounds, winning his 3,000th career race.

Four years later, Albarado was the regular rider for a second Horse of the Year, Curlin.

The 43-year-old Albarado, who has been the meet’s leading rider a record seven times in New Orleans, is scheduled to ride seven horses on Sunday’s program, which begins at 1:25 p.m.

When Albarado reaches 5,000, he will join Eddie Delahoussaye, Kent Desormeaux, Ronald Ardoin, Mark Guidry and Calvin Borel in the select list of Louisiana-born jockeys to find the winner’s circle 5,000 or more times.

Delahoussaye, Desormeaux and Borel are in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, while Borel will join Delahoussaye, Ardoin and Guidry in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame this summer.

Albarado will become the third Louisiana jockey in a span of six months to reach a major milestone. Last summer, jockeys Corey Lanerie and Steve Bourque each picked up their 4,000th career wins, increasing the number of state-born jockeys with 4,000 or more wins to 13.

The list of the Louisiana-born jockeys with 4,000 or more wins in their careers:

Jockey Hometown Career Wins Overall Rank Active?
Eddie Delahoussaye New Iberia 6,383 15 No
Kent Desormeaux Maurice 5,823 19 Yes
Ronald Ardoin Carencro 5,226 24 No
Mark Guidry Lafayette 5,222 25 No
Calvin Borel Catahoula 5,161 28 Yes
Robby Albarado Lafayette 4,999 33 Yes
Gerard Melancon Rayne 4,566 43 Yes
Craig Perret New Orleans 4,415 50 No
Shane Sellers Erath 4,393 52 No
Randy Romero Erath 4,294 55 No
Ray Sibille Sunset 4,264 58 No
Corey Lanerie Lafayette 4,094 64 Yes
Steve Bourque Erath 4,041 69 Yes
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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny has been involved in college athletics since the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane; since then, he has remained involved in college sports. He works in television production of many college sporting events and served briefly as managing editor of New Orleans Metro Sports Magazine. Lenny also served for 11 years on the management…

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