The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures
100 Colin Keane
Ireland: Reigning champion jockey Colin Keane completed the fastest-ever century in the Irish jockeys’ title race when he rode a double at his local track Navan on Saturday [August 28].
Keane, 26, hit the 100-mark on Ger Lyons-trained Barretta in the mile maiden before moving onto 101 on Dollar Value in the last for trainer Tom McCourt.
Also champion in 2017, Keane is well clear this term and, barring injury and suspension, looks certain to beat Joseph O’Brien’s all-time Irish record of 126.
50 DeShawn Parker
USA: Veteran jockey DeShawn Parker has been honoured as this year’s recipient of the Mike Venezia Memorial Award, presented annually by NYRA.
Indiana Grand-based Parker, 50, was chosen in ballots cast by more than 350 professional jockeys at North American tracks for the award, named in honour of Venezia, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a spill in 1988.
In a 30-year career, Cincinnati native Parker was America’s leading rider in 2010 with 377 wins, thereby becoming the first black rider to achieve the feat since 1895. He led the way again in 2011 with 400 wins and is now nearing 5,900 career wins; he also won the George Woolf Memorial Award for 2021.
Two weeks after the passing of his father, Parker was selected by a vote of jockeys nationwide as the winner of the 2021 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, presented by Santa Anita Park.
USA: Star racemare Letruska is the Mexican gift that keeps on giving, having taken her career record to 16 wins from just 21 starts and just short of $2m prize-money in the G1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga on Saturday [August 28].
Firmly en route to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, the five-year-old is trained by former Mexican champion Fausto Gutierrez. She has won nine graded stakes altogether, including a pair of G1s in Mexico, where she was unbeaten before moving north of the border for a US campaign, which started with a 19-length victory in the Copa Invitacional del Caribe in December 2019 at Gulfstream Park.
Though she took a while to fully acclimatise to US competition, but for a head she would be unbeaten in six starts in 2021. Letruska is now set to run in the G1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes at Keeneland on October 10 before the BC Distaff.
100 Richard Fahey
GB: Toro Strike’s victory in the G3 Supreme Stakes at Goodwood on Sunday [August 29] brought up 100 winners for prolific Malton trainer Richard Fahey.
Fahey, 55, first reached the century in 2008 and has never failed to reach the landmark every year since, meaning this is the 14th year in a row he has achieved the feat. Fahey, who moved onto 101 later in the day, posted his personal-best score with 235 in 2015.
7 Paco Lopez
USA: Paco Lopez rode seven winners on a single card at Monmouth Park for the third time on Saturday [August 28], when he rode 50% of the winners on a 14-race card at the New Jersey venue.
Lopez, 35 is well clear as he bids for his eighth riding title at Monmouth and was tying his own record for the track, having ridden two seven-timers in 2014. With 214 winners in 2021 as the weekend ended, he is second to Irad Ortiz (252) among all US jockeys.
On Saturday’s card, Lopez won five straight races (Races 5 to 9) before taking the 12th and 13th. “I am very grateful to do this again,” he said. “I guess the next thing I have to get to is eight wins here.”