When leading jockey at Parx, Tyler Conner, started his day Saturday he had 999 career wins and a 50-50 chance of hitting the 1,000 mark with one of two mounts. As luck would have it chance number one passed by as Upstate and Back scratched from race 6.
Then another twist. The ninth race, an allowance, was taken off the turf due to heavy rain. But Conner’s horse, My Dixie Lass, deftly handled the dirt and carried him to his milestone by two lengths.
Conner had set up his four-figure mark with winners on Friday with My Beautiful Belle in Race 6 and Victory Reigns in Race 8. He also won aboard Uncle Yudi on Friday.
With his 1,000th victory Saturday, Conner now has a career record of 6,283 starts with 986 second places and 955 thirds, earnings of $21,214,000. For the year, the top jock is 386: 84-76-75, $1,961,878.
My Dixie Lass is a three-year-old homebred for James Chandley trained by Chuck Lawrence. The Blofeld filly now has two wins from seven career starts with three second places and earnings of $60,802. She is out of Missdixieactivist by Activist. (Side bar: Activist was owned by Ann and Jerry Moss, trained by Bobby Frankel and ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye)
The son of a trainer and a jockey, the Lancaster, Pa., native took out his apprentice license in 2014. But he had to wait until his 40th start to get his first victory on August 1 of that year that would end with 39 additional wins and earnings of just under $1 million. The following year, Conner would win 168 races with three times the earnings. The 28-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career in 2015, when he won 168 races with more than $3.2 million in earnings. He also passed the $3 million mark in 2019.
Averaging 65 wins per season with a 22 percent win rate at the current meet, his biggest career win came in June aboard another Lawrence trainee aptly named Wow Whata Summer at 83-1 odds. Conner skillfully guided his mouth, past the Pletcher trained Annapolis with Irad Ortiz, Jr., up for a one length victory and huge upset in the Grade 2 Penn Mile. He followed up this win with a second in the With Anticipation Stakes and a win in the Lyphard, also at Penn National.
The sharp jockey also won the G3 All American aboard The Lieutenant at Golden Gate Fields in 2018 and the G3 Eddie D on Mr. Roary at Santa Anita in 2017.
Conner gets another chance to get a win on Upstate and Back on Wednesday when they start in Race 1 at Parx, one of five mounts Conner has that day, three on dirt, two on turf.
A superbusy rider, Conner also has two mounts at Colonial Downs in Virginia that same day, one for trainer Mike Maker. Giddy up, Tyler! @tyler_conner519
By Maribeth Kalinich
Jockey Tyler Conner captures his 1,000th career victory aboard My Dixie Lass #4 in the featured allowance. Photo by Barbara Weidl/EQUI-PHOTO