04/09/2013 11:13AM

Dick Jerardi: Kendrick Carmouche aiming high

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Barbara D. Livingston
Kendrick Carmouche, who won four straight Parx riding titles, intends to relocate to a major track next winter.

Kendrick Carmouche, 29, is one major stakes horse from breaking through to the upper echelon of American jockeys. He dominated the Parx Racing standings from 2008 to 2011, becoming the first rider to win four consecutive Parx Racing/Philadelphia Park titles. It could have been five had he not chosen to spend the summer of 2012 at Monmouth Park.

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He is finishing off one final winter at Parx. He plans to ride there through the summer while shipping around to take advantage of stakes opportunities from New York to Florida.

“Wherever I can get to the winner’s circle,” Carmouche said.

Next winter, he plans to be at Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds, or Aqueduct.

“It is going to be a big move next winter,” Carmouche said. “It is really time to do it.”

He has to get the right agent who can get him into the right barns to get on the right horses. And he knows it.

“You need the right connections to get any big horse or to move to the next level,” Carmouche said.

Carmouche, who rode his first race in 2000, is closing on 2,300 winners and $58 million in purses. He has been consistently very good for years now. In 2007, he won 206 races and his mounts earned $5.3 million. That was followed by 2008 (231, $7.4 million), 2009 (227, $6.7 million), 2010 (285, $8 million), 2011 (213, $6.7 million), and 2012 (202, $6.9 million).

He is terrific on front-runners, fearless on closers, an excellent judge of pace, and one of the best grass riders anywhere.

“I love the grass,” he said. “It’s like playing chess. I ride for a lot of people that have a lot of good grass horses. They make you ride a good race on the turf. They want you to stay on the rail, don’t go out. If you get through, you get through. If you don’t . . .”

Carmouche knows the other riders. He has studied their mounts. He knows when to wait and when to go. He thinks he is better now than he has ever been.

“Before, I was riding off talent,” Carmouche said. “Now, it’s mind and talent. You’ve got the whole Kendrick Carmouche.”

He could have been the top rider at Parx for years. The money, fueled by slots, is obviously very good. He wants more.

“It’s all about what you want in life,” Carmouche said. “I chose to go [to Monmouth] to expand my riding career. That’s what I thought was good for me.”

Carmouche is nothing if not confident. And he has good reason. He is that talented. Now, he has the experience.

“Once they look me up, it will be like.’Where’s this guy been?’ ” Carmouche said.

Well, he’s been at Parx, but perhaps not for much longer.

“I ain’t got a bad record at all,” Carmouche said. “Pick up my stats and my stats look good.”

The numbers, in fact, look very good. The jockey looks even better on the top of a fast horse. He would just like to look good on even faster horses.

Kreiser closing in on 1,000

Tim Kreiser has been one of the best trainers at Penn National for years. He is putting up solid numbers again this year, winning with a terrific 27 percent of his starters through early April. He has won 27 races from 79 starters in 2013. Kreiser had 983 career wins as of Tuesday, and at his present rate, he should get his 1,000th winner sometime in the next few months.

Lucy’s Bob Boy winning big

The 4-year-old West Virginia-bred gelding Lucy’s Bob Boy has started 13 times, with 10 wins and 3 seconds. Lately, he has been doing more than just winning. He has been crushing his opposition and running really fast. On Dec. 11, 2012, he won a second-level allowance by 17 lengths and got a 102 Beyer Speed Figure. On March 21, he won a third-level allowance by 11 lengths and got a 100 Beyer.

Ben’s Cat does it again

It would not be a Mister Diz Stakes at Pimlico without Ben’s Cat in the winner’s circle. He won it for the fourth consecutive year last Saturday. Ben ran his customary five furlongs on grass in 57.74 seconds, paying a princely $2.80. Ben’s Cat has won 20 of 30 career races, with 15 stakes wins and earnings of $1.4 million. Ben’s Cat likely will run next in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint on Black-Eyed Susan Day.