Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux rode his 5,000th winner Sunday, aboard favored Bella Attrice in the seventh race at Saratoga.
"I'm in awe of the number. Five thousand, wow!," he said. "Those numbers were attained in California and New York, the `A' league, so I am proud of that."
The milestone victory took a while to reach. He rode his 4,998th winner on July 7 at Philadelphia Park, then went 0-for-30 before riding No. 4,999 last Wednesday.
Desormeaux has ridden three Kentucky Derby winners, including Big Brown this year. He won riding titles in California, Maryland and Japan during a career he began as a teenager at the bush tracks in his native Louisiana, where he rode his first winner on July 13, 1986.
He and Big Brown also won the Preakness before Desormeaux pulled up the colt in the Belmont, failing to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner.
Desormeaux won Eclipse Awards as the nation's outstanding rider in 1989 and 1992 and another as the nation's leading apprentice jockey in 1987.
Russell Baze is North America's winningest thoroughbred jockey. In February, he became the first to reach 10,000 wins.