Fernando De La Cruz Rides 2,000th Winner Tuesday At Indiana Grand

Fernando De La Cruz has a long history in the state of Indiana holding numerous records. He just added another milestone to his credentials by winning his 2,000th career race in the second event of the day Tuesday, Aug. 18 at Indiana Grand.

A native of Peru, De La Cruz guided Katie’s Day to victory for the Brad Cox Stable to achieve the milestone. After getting the lead early in the five-furlong sprint, De La Cruz was able to fend off Rock Out and Alex Achard in a stretch duel for the one-half length win.

“The other horse (Rock Out) came at us, but she came back,” said De La Cruz of Katie’s Day in the stretch. “She switched leads and then she came back strong for the win.”

De La Cruz was greeted by his wife, Rosa, son, Brian, and daughter, Norma, in the winner’s circle following the victory. Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager of racing, made the winner’s circle presentation to De La Cruz for his milestone.

“It’s very exciting,” added De La Cruz. “I want to say thank you to Trainer Brad Cox and the owners for this opportunity and all the other trainers for supporting me. Because of them, I was able to do this. Thanks to my family, too. I was really happy to have my wife, my son and my daughter here for this.”

De La Cruz is a two-time leading rider at Indiana Grand. He arrived in the Hoosier State in 2007, finishing fourth in the standings during his inaugural season in the United States. After several years of finishing second in the standings, he earned his first riding title at Indiana Grand in 2014 followed by a chart-topping finish in 2016. De La Cruz has been among the track’s top five riders during the past 12 years. He is currently ranked second in the 2020 standings behind DeShawn Parker with 38 wins and joins Parker as the only other jockey with more than $1 million in purse earnings already this season.

De La Cruz holds the record for most purse earnings in the 18-year history of racing at Indiana Grand, accumulating more than $21 million brought in on horses he’s ridden. He is the track’s second all-time leading rider with more than 1,000 wins recorded at Indiana Grand. De La Cruz also holds the record for most stakes wins in the state at 32.

In addition to his success at Indiana Grand, De La Cruz has a riding title to his credit from the final year of Thoroughbred racing at Hoosier Park in 2012. Also, he earned the biggest wins of his career with back to back titles in the Grade 2 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland aboard Bucchero in 2017 and 2018, which in turn took him to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint aboard Indiana’s all-time richest horse, who now stands at stud in Florida.

The post Fernando De La Cruz Rides 2,000th Winner Tuesday At Indiana Grand appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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