11/28/2008 12:00AM

Leparoux breaks Pat Day's fall mark


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When you're a jockey at Churchill Downs and they keep mentioning your name in the same breath with Pat Day, you're probably doing something remarkable.

Julien Leparoux, who equaled a longstanding record held by Day when he rode seven winners on the Nov. 11 card at Churchill, broke the fall meet record for wins, held by the Hall of Fame rider, when he booted home five winners Friday.

Leparoux, a 25-year-old Frenchman, tied Day's record by winning the second race aboard Calabria ($8.80). He then came right back to break the mark by winning the third race in a photo aboard Just Like William ($11.40). Leparoux later added three winners, including the Grade 2 Clark Handicap aboard Einstein, giving him 59 at day's end.

Day, whose seven-win day came at the 1984 spring meet, had held the fall-meet record since 1985, when he rode 55 winners at a 30-day meet.

"I never really thought about it until I went to an appointment last Tuesday in Louisville," Leparoux said afterward in a brief winner's circle tribute commemorating the feat.

"The guy told me, 'Just don't beat him because we love Pat Day over here! Can you just tie it! Don't beat him!' I thought that was kind of funny. I like the Louisville people, but I've got to keep winning races."

Fittingly, Just Like William is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Mike Maker, with whom Leparoux teamed frequently during a meet that began Oct. 26. Earlier at this meet, the Ramseys and Maker had set fall-meet records for wins in their own categories.

Besides Einstein ($11.80), the two other later winners for Leparoux were War Eagle Lady ($7.80) in the eighth and Bullsbay ($4.60) in the ninth. He was named on eight more horses Saturday, closing day of the 26-day meet.

Leparoux said he plans to take some time off during the next few weeks, including a Hawaii vacation, before the Gulfstream Park meet that begins Jan. 3.

Secret Gypsy earns her best Beyer

When a horse earns a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in her debut - as Secret Gypsy did when capturing her career debut in August 2007 at Saratoga - it does not seem unreasonable to expect the horse will have won a stakes race by the time she has run more than a half-dozen times.

As improbable as it may be, Secret Gypsy now has run seven times but still hasn't won a stakes - although the 3-year-old filly looked as formidable as ever in winning a second-level allowance Thursday at Churchill after having finished second in the Grade 2 Raven Run at Keeneland in her previous start.

With Robby Albarado aboard, Secret Gypsy prevailed Thursday by 8 1/2 lengths, finishing seven furlongs in a swift 1:22.03 and earning a career-high 103 Beyer.

Ronny Werner, who trains Secret Gypsy for Richland Hills and John Kuehl, said the filly will join his main string at Fair Grounds. A $10,000 purchase as a 2-year-old, Secret Gypsy has won 3 of 7 starts.

Melancon gets first win of meet

Larry Melancon, the third-leading rider in Churchill history, avoided taking the dreaded "duck" at the fall meet when he registered a hard-fought nose victory aboard Captain Malory in the fifth race Friday.

Melancon, 53, has ridden since 1971. He has won 903 races at Churchill, trailing only Day (2,481) and Don Brumfield (925).

Tote board runs out of room

If the super high five, or Z-5, is going to remain a Churchill staple, the track might need to build bigger tote boards. A dead heat for fifth place in the fifth race Friday between Lighthouse Jim and Kutenai meant the numbers of six horses had to be displayed, but there simply was not room.

The super high five made its Churchill debut in the spring and was transformed into the Z-5 this fall. When unhit, the Z-5 jackpot carries over from one race at Churchill, to another race at Calder, and back to another race at Churchill.