The California-bred filly by Golden Balls didn’t seem to have much of a chance to catch loose leader Madaket Sunset in the one-mile turf allowance, but like he’s done so many times before, Desormeaux got his mount to find her best stride late in the stretch.
With 3 1/2 lengths to make up and a furlong to run, X S Gold, a homebred for trainer Jim Cassidy and DP Racing, rallied on the outside to get up by a head at the wire.
“I can humbly say that I’m truly honored and proud of the number—6,000,” Desormeaux told on-track host Peter Lurie after the race. “I can definitely attest that it wasn’t easy to get here, especially the last two months. … I also know that I am truly appreciative of everyone that gave me the confidence to take the reins.”
The 48-year-old jockey—who has won seven Triple Crown races, six Breeders’ Cup races, and three Eclipse Awards (top apprentice in 1987 and top jockey in 1989 and 1992)—said he still has more goals in his sights.
“I can’t wait to wake up every day and pass Eddie (Delahoussaye, who has 6,383 wins, 15th all-time),” Desormeaux said. “I’m a very goal-oriented jockey, so I have about 380 more wins to go. I’m not going anywhere before then.”
The Louisiana-born jockey began riding in 1986, and his highest victory total came in 1989, when he rode 597 winners from 2,312 starts. His best earnings season came in 2008, when he brought in more than $15.6 million in purses. He won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) with Big Brown that year. It was the second time he won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, after he did it with Real Quiet in 1998.