Franco Notches Career Win 1,000

Geovanni Franco | Benoit

Jockey Geovanni Franco notched the 1,000th win of his career when his mount Miss Commander, who was second under the wire, was promoted to the victory in the second race at Del Mar Saturday.

Asked if getting the milestone victory via DQ tarnished the achievement, Franco said with a smile, “It doesn't. I've won plenty of races by DQ and I'll take a winner any way they come.”

Franco has been riding at Del Mar since 2017, with a year off in 2022 when he moved his tack back to the Midwest. He returned to Del Mar this summer and had 12 wins. He has added five more at the oceanside oval this fall.

“It's truly humbling to have this 1,000th win at Del Mar,” Franco said. “To have been riding here the last five years makes it even better. I'll be happy to get many more.”

Franco rode his first winner at Mexico City's Hipodromo de las Americas in 2009. He went to Canada later that year and rode at Hastings Park in Vancouver, British Columbia. In March of 2010 he came to Santa Anita and rode the rest of the winter meet before heading up to Golden Gate Fields. He rode in Northern California through much of 2011 before finishing the year at Turf Paradise where he was the leading rider in 2012 and 2013.

He began branching out to other tracks in 2014, riding at Sunland Park, Santa Anita again, even Finger Lakes in New York and Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pennsylvania. He settled in the Midwest in 2015, riding at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Remington Park in Oklahoma and Canterbury Park in Minnesota.

Runner-up aboard Lieutenant Dan in the 2021 GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, Franco has recorded top-level victories aboard Fault in the 2018 GI Santa Margarita S. and with Secret Spice in the 2019 GI Beholder Mile.

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