01/19/2010 12:00AM

Leparoux earns a rare Eclipse double


Since the Eclipse Awards began honoring excellence in the sport in 1971, only two champion apprentice jockeys have gone on to win the award as a journeyman rider in another year. Monday night, Julien Leparoux joined the select company of Chris McCarron and Kent Desormeaux. (Steve Cauthen won both awards in 1977.)

Leparoux was voted the Eclipse Award as leading apprentice in 2006, a year in which he led the nation in victories with 403. This year, Leparoux finished ninth nationally in victories with 247 from 1,284 mounts (19.2 winning percentage), but was second in purse earnings with $18,560,565. Leparoux, 26, shined brightly on one of racing's biggest stages, winning three of the 14 Breeders' Cup World Championship races contested at Santa Anita on Nov. 6-7. On the first day, he won the Juvenile Fillies aboard She Be Wild - his first time aboard the filly - and later captured the Filly and Mare Sprint aboard Informed Decision. The following day, Leparoux upset the Dirt Mile with 20-1 shot Furthest Land.

Leparoux, who did not ride past Dec. 3, won 48 stakes races in 2009, including 34 graded events at 13 tracks. Leparoux won 10 Grade 1 races aboard seven horses - Einstein, Informed Decision, Forever Together, Icon Project, Pure Clan, She Be Wild, and Furthest Land.

Leparoux won the Churchill spring/summer riding title 62-61 over Calvin Borel and in the fall finished in a dead heat with Borel (27-27) for that track's riding title. Leparoux won the Keeneland spring title, and finished second to Robby Albarado at Keeneland's fall meeting.