11/10/2011 2:01PM

Churchill: Homeister wins in second race of comeback

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Rosemary Homeister Jr. was all smiles in the Churchill Downs winner’s circle Thursday after prevailing with just her second mount since returning from maternity leave. Homeister won the second race aboard favored Eden Star ($4.60), a 3-year-old filly owned by Jim Gladden and trained by Eric Reed.

“This is great!” said Homeister, the second-leading female jockey all-time in North America. “Eric really had the filly fit and ready to go, and I appreciate that.”

Homeister, 39, abruptly quit riding in early February, announcing she was pregnant with her first child. She delivered a daughter, Victoria Rose, on Aug. 21. She returned to the saddle Wednesday at Churchill by finishing sixth aboard Huxley Winner in the ninth race.

With 2,439 career victories, Homeister’s win total is exceeded among female jockeys only by Hall of Famer Julie Krone with 3,704.