04/20/2007 12:00AM

Melancon rides 3,000th winner


Jockey Gerard Melancon reached career victory number 3,000 on Thursday night at Evangeline Downs after booting home Switch Grass Gas ($11.40) in the $31,000 allowance feature.

Melancon, 39, is a native of Rayne, La., and began riding in the mid-1980's. He is a four-time champion rider at Evangeline Downs and has been a top rider in the region for many years. He also won consecutive riding titles at Louisiana Downs in 2002-03.

In addition to his 3,000 victories, Melancon has 2,943 second-place finishes and 2,768 thirds from 21,653 mounts. His career mount earnings have totaled $41,560,668.