08/12/2006 12:00AM

Gonzalez wins No. 2,000

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Jockey Carlos Gonzalez picked up career win number 2,000 in dramatic fashion Friday afternoon at Louisiana Downs, narrowly prevailing in the ninth race of the day aboard 9-5 favorite Del Norte. Gonzalez outfinished leading apprentice Cody Meche, who was aboard Brickadier General, following a spirited stretch battle. Del Norte is trained by leading trainer Cole Norman, who has been riding Gonzalez first call for most of the season.

Gonzalez, 41, is a native of Aricedo, Puerto Rico, and is a former riding champion here, having taken the title in 1999. He led the Louisiana Downs rider standings through Friday with 62 victories.