Jockey Vernon Bush started his day working with students from Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship and later in the day reached an impressive milestone in racing as he recorded his 3,000th lifetime victory. The 47-year-old reinsman piloted Loadthewagon to a wire-to-wire win in the eighth race. "Maybe those kids brought me luck, I rode the hair off that horse," said Bush after posing for a group photo with the rest of the jockey colony. "The closer you get to a career plateau like this, the harder it seems to get. The monkeys off my back now."

"I made my reputation in the Northeast, but this (River Downs) will always be home. It's where I won my first race when I was 16-years-old," stated Vernon who captured six riding titles at Suffolk Downs and four at Rockingham Park. "I was actually born in Methuen, Massachusetts, but that was because my dad was riding at Rockingham Park. I grew up in Alexandria, Kentucky with my brother George and sister Ruth Ann. I really wanted to reach the 3,000 milestone here where my father won so many races and it would be so special if I could win it on a horse trained by my brother." Bush's father was a top rider at the Cincinnati oval in the 50's."

Accompanying Vernon in the winner's circle was his brother George, a trainer at River Downs who put him on win #2,999. "I'm supposed to be hauling a van to Mountaineer Park for a race tonight, but I talked my wife into doing it," laughed George. "I really wanted to be here for Vernon, though and it was worth it - we spent most of our childhood at River Downs."

"I love riding and I'm still having fun," said Bush. "I'll ride as long as I can." Bush plans to remain in the Cincinnati area throughout his career and has plans to marry trainer Coleen MacDonald in August.

For more information or photos contact John Engelhardt Director of Publicity (513) 354-8243 or