02/01/2003 1:00AM

Lumpkins wins 2,000th race

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Jockey Jason Lumpkins notched the 2,000th victory of his career Friday when he rode A May Zing Devil to a narrow win in the first race at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

Lumpkins, who moved to Kentucky in late November and has become easily the leading rider at Turfway, said he was fortunate to win the race for owner Ray Cottrell and trainer Paul J. McGee. A May Zing Devil appeared beaten in the final yards of the maiden claiming sprint, but a desperate final surge allowed him to nose out Unfaced.

"I wasn't sure I was going to get there," said Lumpkins.

Lumpkins began his career in Maryland in the late 1980's before becoming a leading rider at Thistledown and on the northern California circuit. He recently bought a large parcel of land in northern Kentucky and plans to ride year-round on the Kentucky circuit.