02/16/2012 9:01PM

Leparoux to switch base of operations to New York this spring

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Julien Leparoux after winning the Grade 1 First Lady at Keeneland last fall aboard Never Retreat.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Jockey Julien Leparoux confirmed Thursday that he plans to move his tack to New York on a regular basis sometime in early May.

Leparoux said he will ride out the current Gulfstream Park meet, which concludes on April 8, before heading to Keeneland where he was the leading rider at each of the last three meets dating back to the fall of 2010.

“After Keeneland I will either go to Churchill Downs for the opening week of their upcoming meet or head right to Belmont,” said Leparoux. “It just depends on what kind of mounts I might have lined up for Derby weekend.”

Leparoux, 28,  said there were several reasons why he’s chosen to leave  the Kentucky circuit for New York this spring.

“I just felt I was at a point in my career where I’m looking for a new challenge,” said Leparoux. “Racing in New York figures to be very strong this year and to grow even stronger in the years to come. I’ll miss Kentucky but I’m really looking forward to this opportunity.”   

Leparoux, a native of France,  has won 1,592 races and has mount earnings of more than $82 million since he began riding in the United States in 2005. He currently is tied for fifth in the Gulfstream Park standings with 31 wins, and last weekend was named to ride leading Kentucky Derby hopeful Union Rags in the Feb. 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes.

Purses have been raised at Aqueduct and may continue to climb at Belmont Park and Saratoga following the opening of a casino at Aqueduct last fall. Kentucky tracks have been unable to get a casino gambling bill passed despite repeated attempts over the last decade.

jaybee More than 1 year ago
Amazing to see the NY colony so strong and Southern California a shell of it's former self.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stop smoking those crackpipes...other than JR and Prado, who have long-term connections (Pletcher, etc) and top-notch skills still, Leparoux WILL be battling for the riding title. He is GUARANTEED Top 5, and jocks like Cohen and Alvarado have NO SHOT of being in front of him in the final standings.
John Lyons More than 1 year ago
I would love to see you ride the NY circuit on a regular basis. As May rolls around so does turf racing in NY and I think you are at the top of your game on the grass where you have to be patient enough to have your horse finish strongly. I am so looking forward to seeing you ride up close and personal. Best of "Luck" to you Julien.
Bob Lunny More than 1 year ago
Jockey colony might be the best, but is the trainer colony strong enough to support all the riders.
pick4win More than 1 year ago
The top 5 jocks in NY once they return to NY will be JJ Castellano, Ramon D, Junior Alvarado, Johnny Velazquez cause of Pletcher, and then Leparoux. Prado moved his tack to Kentucky last fall and isn't strong enough to compete in NY anymore. David Cohen doesn't have the business to compete once the big name jocks come back north. Cornelio isn't top five but is top ten because he has the best agent.
Roy Sankar More than 1 year ago
he will come to new york where the top class jockeys ride n ill tell u this he will definitely not be in the top 5 here on the new york circuit. you will have john, prado, javier, cornelio and cohen who are ur top here in new york
rcdom More than 1 year ago
this is just another strong jockey to a colony thats going to be the best in decades, i wouldn't be surprized to see other journeymen come to ny where the best racing in the country hands down will be this spring and summer!!!!!! can't wait