12/04/2013 5:18PM

Tampa Bay: De La Cruz collects 1,000th career victory


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Jockey Fernando De La Cruz posted his 1000th career victory Wednesday when he booted Jungle Princess to victory in the fifth race on the opening day program at  Tampa Bay Downs.

De La Cruz, leading rider at the recently concluded Indiana Downs meeting and second in the standing at Tampa last season, guided Jungle Princess ($8.40) to a half-length tally in the six- furlong sprint for $8,000 claiming sprinters.

Jamie Ness trained the winner for Midwest Thoroughbreds. He and De La Cruz teamed up again to take the seventh race with Young Duke ($5.40).

De La Cruz, a 27-year-old native of Peru, began riding in this country in 2007 and has won 100 or more races every year since 2009. The two wins Wednesday gave him 181 winners for 2013.