05/08/2013 3:59PM

Hollywood Park: Bejarano closing in on 3,000th career win

Barbara D. Livingston
Rafael Bejarano comes into Thursday's card at Hollywood Park needing four wins to reach 3,000.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Friday could be a milestone day for top jockey Rafael Bejarano at Betfair Hollywood Park – if he does not win four races Thursday.

Bejarano, 30, entered the racing week at Hollywood Park on Thursday with 2,996 career wins. He had five mounts Thursday, leaving him with an excellent chance of reaching the 3,000th win of his career sometime this week.

The milestone comes at a time when Bejarano is ranked sixth in the nation in wins this year, with 104 victories through Tuesday. Joel Rosario led all riders with 130, and led in earnings with $7,526,066. Bejarano ranks fourth in earnings with $5,847,987.

“It’s been an incredible year,” Bejarano said Wednesday between workouts at Santa Anita. “I’m looking forward to 3,000.”

Bejarano is expected to be the leading rider at the current Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting. At the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting that ended April 21, Bejarano led all riders with 93 wins, 31 more than runner-up Edwin Maldonado.

A native of Peru, Bejarano is the current leading rider at Hollywood Park, even though he only rode the first four days of the meeting – April 25-28 – and last Sunday. During that span, he had 12 wins, including four-win days April 26 and 28, and a three-win day April 27.

Bejarano, who is represented by Joe Ferrer, rode in Kentucky for much of last week, winning twice.

“I’ve been working with my agent so hard for the last eight or 10 years,” Bejarano said.

This weekend, Bejarano rides Scarlet Strike in Saturday’s $100,000 Senorita Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over a mile on turf. He rode Scarlet Strike to a win in the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita on April 6.

Bejarano rides Belvin in Saturday’s $70,000 Came Home Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs and Lime Rickey in Sunday’s $70,000 Round Table Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Scarlet Strike is part of a projected field of eight in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Scarlet Strike starts in her eighth consecutive stakes in the Senorita.

Timurlenk Timurlenk More than 1 year ago
I personally prefer to check women physical attributes. On jockeys I check their milestones and Bejarano has nothing to envy greats like Pincay, Vásquez, Toro...he will reach that plateau 20 years from now. Check Bejarano´s percentages instead of his nose job, silly people.
Jef Fawell More than 1 year ago
Rafael is one of the best stakes riding jocks!!!
Jerry Ray More than 1 year ago
That is quite a milestone to accomplish no matter who you are and you have to have the horse to begin with.
sandel lumbart More than 1 year ago
James! send us a picture of yoursel and let us compare you with Bejarano.
sandel lumbart More than 1 year ago
Goerge send us your accomplishments and let us discuss Bejaranos'
Stephen Thompson More than 1 year ago
Intercontinental, Ginger Punch and Secret Circle
george pelyak More than 1 year ago
one of the worst riders in big races like the TC and BC...start naming any of those races he's won...
Bob More than 1 year ago
It all has to do with horse you ride. It's splitting hairs to separate the top lets say 15 jockeys ... Cornelio Velasquez and jr. Alvarado are great examples as they never get on any big named horses and can ride with the best of them. It's about the horse....
Jef Fawell More than 1 year ago
And a great Agent.
sandel lumbart More than 1 year ago
Just 30yrs old his accomplishments is remarkable! now george, show us yours and let us talk about this young man who doing excellent for his age.
Jerry Ray More than 1 year ago
How can you say he is one of the worst riders.When a rider wins that many races he can ride.You have to have the Horse to start with.He has one his share at all distances and surfaces and he has one with lot's of average horses.
Jeffries Will More than 1 year ago
seriously? name any horse he's had a legitimate chance on!
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
This picture can't be Bejarano???...That nose is way off!!!...
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
have it fixed
james e. More than 1 year ago
I am not sure this guy in the photo is Bejarano? If it is he must have had a nose job.
Joel Winicki More than 1 year ago
He did
chairmanwong0 More than 1 year ago
Since Rosario left town, the bejarano angle has produced a healthy roi. Laughing all the way to the bank.