07/28/2016 9:00AM

Steve Bourque gets 4,000th win


Jockey Steve Bourque won the 4,000th Thoroughbred race of his career on Wednesday night at Evangeline Downs, guiding Space Book to a length victory in the second race. Space Book paid $17.20 for winning the $5,000 conditioned claiming route for Louisiana-breds.

Bourque, 53, ranks 69th among North American riders in Thoroughbred wins, according to a release from Evangeline Downs.

Bourque’s first win came in 1979 at the track’s original location, in Carencro, La. It is now located in Opelousas, La. He retired from riding in 2010, on the final night of the meet at Evangeline, but made a comeback last November at Delta Downs. Bourque returned to the saddle after the oil and gas industry in which he was working took a downturn.

“I decided to go back to riding because I was still small,” Bourque said recently. “I weighed 113 pounds. Right now, I weigh 109.”  

Bourque, who is tied for sixth in the standings at Evangeline, has won two titles at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston and eight at Delta Downs. Bourque has had 27,269 Thoroughbred starts and his mounts have earned more than $34 million. Bourque has won 100 stakes races during his career, and among his stakes winners are Vivace, Vilaxy, Political Whit, Lights On Broadway, Nitro Chip, and Drill Hall.

Bourque, a native of Louisiana, said that following the Evangeline meet he plans to continue riding in the state. Evangeline races through Aug. 27.