In what is not really a surprising move, veteran Fair Grounds rider Corey Lanerie has decided to shift his tack to South Florida and Gulfstream Park this upcoming winter.
After having spent most of his career at the Fair Grounds, Lanerie will now ride full time at another circuit. If you look what he has accomplished thus far this year, Lanerie has had a breakout 2012, winning 135 races and dominating the spring meet at Churchill with 71 wins to cruise to the riding title. Lanerie currently holds a narrow lead at the race meeting at Ellis Park.
It will be interesting to see how the Louisiana native competes against a much stronger riding colony than he has ever seen in his career. Ramon Dominguez, John Velasquez, Javier Castellano are some of the big name riders who Lanerie will battle this winter at Gulfstream. I am looking forward to how Corey will acquit himself against such a stalwart group.
When asked about why the move to Florida, Lanerie told Jennie Rees, the outstanding writer for the Louisville Courier Journal and Blood Horse magazine that he feels that "there are better chances to ride in the Kentucky Derby because the horse stock is better." Now I am of the opinion that Florida offers up more hyped horses than the Fair Grounds but this past year not withstanding following Hero Of Order's extremely fluky win in the Louisiana Derby, the Fair Grounds on a consistent basis produces top tier runners with a list too numerous to mention.
Lanerie who is 36 years old has amassed over 3,300 victories and has attained $76 million in career earnings over a very solid career to this point. As a fan I wish him nothing but the best in his future. Lanerie will be missed by the many railbirds at the Fair Grounds but I am sure they hope he does well.
By the way, most of your railbird types are fiercely loyal to anyone plying their trade here in Louisiana, especially the native sons. I am sure a lot of those same railbirds will show Corey their support by the best way they know how - with their wallets.
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