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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


 Edited Keeneland Staff Release — Jockey Corey Lanerie recorded the 5,000th victory of his career today at Keeneland when he rode 2-1 favorite I Feel the Need to a 3½-length victory in Race 3.

A 4-year-old daughter of Keen Ice trained by Chris Hartman, I Feel the Need is owned by Denny East, Jerry White, Mark Young and Michael Post. Her time for 1 1/16 miles was 1:45.93.

After the race, Lanerie described the race and reaching the milestone.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. “I have been waiting a long time and it seems like I got right on it and I could never get over the hump, but today we got over the hump and hopefully we keep rolling.”

About this ride and when he knew he had the race won

“I looked at replays and she seemed like she came out of the gate slow in her previous starts, so I let her find her stride. I positioned myself behind (Steel Racer) and figured I would find a seam. In the middle of the (final) turn, she came off the rail a little bit and my horse was brave enough to shoot on through.”

On whether he felt pressure from all the people rooting him on to win 5,000

“If I (said) no, I would be lying. Especially after a while and riding a few favorites and nothing was happening. Everyone kept asking ‘Is this the one? Is this the one?’ and I kept saying ‘I hope so.’ It puts a little pressure on, but we live through pressure.”

On what stands out to you about reaching the milestone

“A lot of hard work and the first thing that crosses your mind is everybody in the past who helped you get there from when I started – the people who taught me how to ride – and all my family and friends that supported me the whole time, all the owners and trainers that stood by me, the horses that ran for me. I was just so blessed to have a career like this. People, including myself, just dream of a career like this, and I was able to fulfill it and do what I’ve had so much passion about since I was three years old. All I wanted to be was a jockey. God blessed me with enough talent to be able to do it as a career. I can’t thank Him enough.”

On his supporters throughout his career

“Mostly my family because in this business you have a lot of ups and downs. Family sticking by you is key because when we lose 80% of the time, we’re doing really good. I just thank family and a lot of the trainers that stuck with me. One of my first ones were Mike Stidham and Steve Asmussen. They gave me a chance to ride first call for both of them. I got to get on better horses, and it made me a much better rider. There’s so many of them to thank. I couldn’t possibly do it right here.”


Lanerie is the 38th North American jockey to win 5,000 races. Among jockeys listed as active, Lanerie is 12th behind Perry Ouzts (7,418 wins as of Oct. 17) and John Velazquez (6,543). The overall leader is Russell Baze (12,842) followed by Laffit Pincay Jr. (9,530), Bill Shoemaker (8,833), Pat Day (8,803) and Ouzts.

A longtime regular on the Kentucky circuit, Lanerie is Keeneland’s sixth leading rider of all time by wins. He rode his first winner here during the 2000 Fall Meet and was the track’s leading jockey of the 2015 Fall Meet. He has won 13 stakes, including three victories in the Central Bank Ashland (G1) – aboard Hooh Why (2009), Weep No More (2016) and Sailor’s Valentine (2017) – and the 2015 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) on Brody’s Cause.

The Louisville resident also has captured numerous Churchill Downs titles. In 2014, he won the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, which “honors riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.”

Lanerie, 48, grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, a region known for its horse racing culture and the starting point for some of the sport’s most successful riders. His grandfather was a trainer and his father was a jockey and trainer. Lanerie honed his riding skills at informal weekend race meets before launching his professional career in 1991 and winning his first race that year at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana.

Lanerie’s career presumably has many years remaining.

“My dad still gallops horses in the mornings,” he said. “He is 72.”

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