Trainer Gary Sciacca reaches 1,000 win milestone

November 12, 2021

OZONE PARK, N.Y.- Trainer Gary Sciacca earned his 1,000th career victory when Caumsett wired the first race on Opening Day of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack. 

“I’m just real happy to get it done,” Sciacca said. “I would have loved to have got it done at Belmont, but I got my start here at Aqueduct so this is great.”

Sciacca, a 61-year-old native of Brooklyn, New York, captured his first career victory with Proud Northern in October 1981 at the Big A. Through four decades of conditioning thoroughbreds, Sciacca has won two training titles at Belmont Park, leading the way at the 1993 spring meet and 1997 fall meet. 

Caumsett, with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano in the irons, led through splits of 24.22 seconds, 48.80 and 1:13.50 in the one-mile inner turf event for New York-bred maiden fillies and mares. The sophomore daughter of The Factor opened up a 3 1/2-length lead at the stretch call and coasted home a 1 3/4-length winner in a final time of 1:36.55 over the firm going.

Castellano, who guided Caumsett to a narrow head loss with a similar pacesetting effort on September 19 at Belmont Park, said he felt confident throughout.

“That’s the trip I was looking for today,” Castellano said. “Last time, she went to the lead and got caught in the last jump. It seemed to me that today there wasn’t much speed in the race. I dictated the pace and they let me go easy. She rolled the whole way and finished really well.”

The Hall of Fame rider tipped his cap to the veteran conditioner for his milestone achievement.

“I’m very happy for him. It’s a great achievement to win 1,000 races,” Castellano said. “I’ve known Gary for a long time and he’s a dedicated horseman and been in the game a long time. I’m lucky and blessed to be a part of his success.”

Bred in the Empire State by Milfer Farm, Caumsett was sent to post at odds of 9-2, and returned $11.60 for a $2 win bet.

“It feels great. We needed to get it done and get it over with,” Sciacca said. “I thought she was going to win last time [September 19], but she got nailed right at the wire. Bobby, my son is here, so that’s great.”

Sciacca trained 1992 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Saratoga Dew, who captured that year’s Grade 1 Beldame and Grade 1 Gazelle Handicap, both at Belmont Park, en route to becoming the first New York-bred to earn an Eclipse Award. 

He also conditioned eight-time graded stakes-winning millionaire Subordination, who captured the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in 1997 at Hollywood Park and the following year’s Grade 1 Eddie Read at Del Mar.

Other prominent graded stakes winners to come up under Sciacca’s care include Dr. Kiernan, Debonair Dan, Dominant Prospect, Inside the Beltway, Gold Princess and Dawn of the Condor. 

“The Grade 1 wins with Saratoga Dew and Subordination were huge,” Sciacca said. “The business has been so great to me and all the hard work is paying off. It’s taken me all over and has been really good.”

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

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Photo: Gary Sciacca (NYRA/Coglianese)

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