11/28/2013 1:45PM

Laurel Park: Ness gets 2,000th career win as trainer

Four-Footed Fotos
Jamie Ness got the 2,000th win of his training career Thursday.

Trainer Jamie Ness got his 2,000th career win when Caylee’s Song dashed to victory in the second race at Laurel Park on Thursday.

The milestone win was a fitting representation of Ness’s career: Caylee’s Song was owned by the Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. of Rich and Karen Papiese, the massive operation that has fueled much of Ness’s success during the past several seasons. Caylee’s Song was claimed from Ness and Midwest for $6,250 from the race, but Ness and Midwest dropped a claim of their own on another horse.

Such active participation in the claiming game helped Ness reach 2,000 winners about one month after his 39th birthday. The Heron, S.D., native got his training start at Canterbury Park in 1999 and won two races that year. Ness didn’t reach 100 winners in a season until 2007, when he won 135, but his success rate then exploded, and Ness won a career-best 395 races in 2012 after winning 330 the season before.

Ness has won races at a 26 percent clip for his career, and his sometimes-extraordinary rate of success has drawn scrutiny from racing regulators. Last March, when Ness was winning with 46 percent of his starters at Tampa Bay Downs, security personnel from the track and agents from the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau searched his stables at Tampa Bay Downs, though Ness soon was cleared of any wrongdoing.