OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Jockey Joel Rosario notched his 3,000th career win in Friday’s first race at Aqueduct Racetrack when he piloted Hit the Woah to a 1 1/4-length victory in a six-furlong maiden special weight. Rosario, who posted his first career win in 2006, has compiled at least 150 victories every year since 2007.
“I knew when I was a couple away, and I thought it might take a long time to get, you know how it goes,” said Rosario, who also won Saturday’s opening race at the Big A aboard Halpert in a six-furlong maiden race moved off the turf. “I’m so glad it happened and thanks to all the owners and trainer for the opportunities.”
Rosario’s career has included victory totals rich in both quantity and quality, encompassing 13 wins in Breeders’ Cup competition and three American Classic victories, starting with Orb in the 2013 Kentucky Derby. His victory aboard Tonalist in the 2014 Belmont Stakes thwarted California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid, and Rosario picked up his second career win in the “Test of the Champion” aboard Sir Winston in 2019.
In total, Rosario has accumulated 288 graded stakes wins and 91 Grade 1 scores. The most wins he tallied in a single year was 274 in 2013, which ranked him fourth among North American riders. He twice finished second in earnings, amassing more than $21.5 million in both 2013 and 2014.
“Coming from the Dominican Republic, I’m very thankful to all the people who got me to where I am today,” Rosario said. “All the support from the owners and trainers and all the good horses they’ve given me, I’m very pleased and very happy to get to 3,000 wins and going forward, I’m looking forward to seeing how many more I can get.”
Besides his success in Classics, the 35-year-old native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic has thrived in the Breeders’ Cup, including a win in the 2018 Classic with Accelerate. He has notched two wins each in the Mile [2016, Tourist; 2019, Uni], Juvenile Fillies [2018, Jaywalk; 2020, Vequist], Dirt Mile [2010, Dakota Phone; 2020, Knicks Go] Filly and Mare Turf Sprint [2015, Wavell Avenue; 2019, Covfefe] and Turf Sprint [2014, Bobby’s Kitten; 2017, Stormy Liberal], as well as single scores in the Sprint [2009, Dancing in Silks] and Juvenile [2018, Game Winner].
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Photo: Joel Rosario in the Aqueduct Racetrack’s winner circle to celebrate 3,000 career wins. (Chelsea Durand/NYRA)