Victor Carrasco recorded the 1,000 victory of his career when he guided Justin Front (Justin Phillip) to a 1 1/4-length score Sunday at Laurel.
“It’s a great feeling,” Carrasco said of the milestone. “After dealing with so many injuries and having some health issues and everything, it feels amazing.”
Carrasco won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s leading apprentice rider in 2013. The 27-year-old, a native of Guyama, Puerto Rico, graduated from the famed Escuela Vocacional Hipica jockey school and won 11 races in his home country before coming to the United States in March 2013. During his rookie season, Carrasco led all bug riders with 215 wins and $4.35 million in purse earnings.
Carrasco was joined in the winner’s circle after the race by members of both his family and Maryland’s jockey colony.
“I was blessed to have the support of my family, especially my mother and my girl Brooke who worked with me every day,” Carrasco said. “To be honest, I thought that I wasn’t going to make it back to ride. After months of going to doctor appointments and all of that, things were the same. I never thought that I would be able to come back and be back in the winner’s circle.”