Tom Luicci/Monmouth Park
OCEANPORT, N.J.— Depending on how the weekend shakes out, the 2,000-win club for Thoroughbred trainers could add two more members.
John Servis and Joe Orseno, both with divisions at Monmouth Park this summer, are each sitting on 1,998 wins. Equibase currently lists 100 trainers who have reached the 2,000-win milestone.
“It’s funny because someone recently wrote an article about how close I was getting to 2,000 and I showed it to my wife (Sherry),” said Servis. “I guess she saw something on social media because she said to me `I saw where Jamie Ness has 4,000 wins.’
“I said `honey I’m not Jamie Ness. I don’t know what to tell you.’ ”
There’s an outside chance both trainers could reach the milestone at Monmouth Park this weekend, though an assist from Mother Nature would be needed, since the only horses both have entered for Saturday at Monmouth are main track only entrants in the seventh race that day.
Servis does have three entered on Friday at Monmouth Park (two in the same race) and also has one going at Laurel on Saturday. In addition to the MTO at Monmouth Park on Saturday, Orseno has one horse in Friday at Gulfstream, two at Gulfstream on Saturday and one at Saratoga on Saturday.
“I’ve had some nice accomplishments in my career – two Breeders’ Cup wins, being leading trainer five different times, winning the Preakness, winning five races in one day at Gulfstream – and 2,000 wins would be in line with those achievements,” said Orseno. “I try to win every race I run in so I’m a little surprised I haven’t done it a while ago.
“But it will definitely be a significant milestone.”
Servis, whose career has been highlighted by 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones, as well as multiple Grade 1 wins, says he is not feeling pressure to reach 2,000, though he has not won a race since July 23.
“We’ve got a lot of young horses that aren’t quite ready to run yet so we’re kind of filled up with young horses right now and it puts you behind the eight ball a little bit,” he said. “But it will be significant for the entire team when we get there. It’s a reflection of all the work the team has put in through the years. I’ve always had a great group working with me.
“It says a lot for my owners, too. My owners let me run horses where I think they can win. That’s how you get to 2,000 wins.”
Servis enters the weekend with 1,998 wins from 11,322 starters, with his horses having earned more than $69 million. Orseno has had 14,55 starters who have bankrolled more than $52 million during his training career.