06/18/2017 1:37PM

Jockey Karamanos notches 2,000th North American victory

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Jim McCue
Horacio Karamanos' 2000th North American win came aboard Liquid Aloha on Sunday.

Jockey Horacio Karamanos won his 2,000th race in North America on Sunday at Laurel Park when he guided Liquid Aloha to victory in race 3.

Karamanos, who will turn 44 on June 28, also has more than 1,500 wins in his native Argentina.

Liquid Aloha, who is trained by Kelly Breen, paid $12.60 in the starter allowance race on turf.

Karamanos' wife Veronica and daughter Milagros were on hand to see his milestone victory and participated in the post-race winner's circle celebration.

"I was not nervous but I am excited to make it,” Karamanos said. "I feel inspired because everyone was saying, 'C'mon, 1,999,' so I had to do it. I made it and I’m happy because 2,000 races – it’s hard to get that."

Karamanos began his U.S. riding in Florida in 2000 and moved to Maryland in 2002. Except for a year and a half from 2008 to 2010, when he returned to Argentina to ride, he has been based in Maryland since.

Karamanos has enjoyed great success since 2016, riding first call in Maryland for Linda Rice. He also rides extensively for Mary Eppler, and has been aboard Page McKenney 25 times and for 17 consecutive races dating back to February 2015. In all, Karamanos has won 14 races on Page McKenney, including 10 stakes.

On Oct. 26, 2002, Karamanos tied a Laurel Park record by riding seven winners on a card. He has won five riding titles in Maryland and six at Colonial Downs before that track closed permanently following the 2013 season. Karamanos rode his 1,000th North American winner at Laurel on April 14, 2007.

Karamanos, a strong finisher on a horse, has seven graded stakes victories. He won the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel this year for Rice on High Ridge Road and the 2015 running of the race on Lady Sabelia for Robin Graham.

He also has two Grade 2 wins at Colonial Downs. He won the 2013 Colonial Turf Cup on London Lane and the 2007 Virginia Derby on Red Giant.

Karamanos' Grade 3 wins came in the 2016 General George at Laurel on Page McKenney, the 2004 Safely Kept Breeders' Cup at Colonial on Bending Strings, and the 2002 All Along Breeders' Cup at Colonial on Secret River.

Although the race wasn't graded at the time, he won the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash in 2012 on Action Andy for trainer Carlos Garcia.

Karamanos has a 15 percent win average in North America and purse earnings of $50.4 million.