12/18/2008 12:00AM

Homeister has 2,000th winner


Rosemary Homeister Jr. notched her 2,000th career victory Thursday at Tampa Bay Downs when she rode Rustyshouldrun ($8.40) to a 1 1/4-length win in the seventh race.

Homeister, 35, who began her career in south Florida in 1992, has had nearly 15,000 mounts, which have earned a total of more than $34,482,000 in purses.

Homeister ranks as racing's third-winningest female jockey in races won, behind Julie Krone (3,704) and Patti Cooksey (2,137). She won the Eclipse Award as top apprentice in 1992. Homeister retired from race-riding in the fall of 2004 but returned to competition in mid-2006.

"It felt like it took forever to get that last win." Homeister said. "I can't even explain the feeling - it's like winning your first race.

"My next goal is to be second leading female rider in the country, but I don't know if I'll ever catch Julie Krone."