11/12/2008 12:00AM

Leparoux second to win 7 at Churchill

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Jockey Julien Leparoux became just the second rider in Churchill Down history to win seven on a card.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Tuesday racing is rare at Churchill Downs, but a jockey winning seven races on a card is even rarer.

Julien Leparoux became just the second jockey in Churchill’s fabled 134-year history to win seven in a day, doing so by winning with his first seven rides on a 10-race card staged on a day that normally is dark at Churchill but was open because of the Veterans Day holiday.

Pat Day, the Hall of Famer who retired in 2005, is the only other rider in Churchill history to have won seven races on a card, having done so from eight mounts on June 20, 1984.

Leparoux, who is on pace to easily break the Churchill fall-meet record of 55 winners set by Day in 1985, won the first five races, did not ride the sixth, then won again in the seventh and eighth. With two opportunities to break the record, he finished eighth of nine aboard Rocketinthegate in the ninth race, then second aboard Sinister, the 3-1 second choice, in the last race.

“Seven in one day is fantastic,” Leparoux said after the last race. “I just got lucky. It was a good day, good horses. I just keep riding my races. Five, six, seven, it’s super.”

Leparoux won the first race with Diva’s Gold ($6.40), the second with Yikes ($7.80), the third with Troutdale ($8.40), the fourth with Gerivello ($10.40), the fifth with Variant ($11), the seventh with Majestic Feline ($4.40), and the eighth with Runway West ($12).

Eddie Kenneally, trainer of Runway West, said he was honored to have given Leparoux a leg up on his record-tying seventh winner.

“Absolutely,” said Kenneally. “He’s in the zone.”

Leparoux, a 25-year-old native of France, won six races on June 27, 2007. Jamie Theriot was the latest to win six on a card, doing so at the 2008 spring meet.

Churchill usually conducts Tuesday racing just once per meet: during Kentucky Derby week in the spring, and in most years, on Election Day in the fall, although the track opted instead for Veterans Day this year.

Shaun Bridgmohan won the last two races of the day aboard Distorted Passion and Next Adventure, both of them sent off as the favorites. In the last race, Sinister raced well back before making a mild bid that did not seriously threaten Next Adventure, a 2 1/4-length winner.