Rider Johnston records 3,000th win of career

After Komba win, jockey tips his hat to Md. racing

Horse Racing

September 13, 2002|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Jockey Mark Johnston scored his 3,000th career win yesterday aboard Komba in the second race at Pimlico.

He won by 10 lengths in 1 minute, 47 2/5 seconds for the 1 1/16 miles.

Komba is owned and trained by James Barry.

The 31-year-old rider from Lebanon, Ky., who has made the mid-Atlantic his base of operations since late 1989, a year before he won the Eclipse Award as leading apprentice, made every pole a winning one aboard the 2-1 favorite. Of his 3,000 career wins, 2,719 have come in Maryland.

"I'm very happy I could achieve this win in Maryland," Johnston said. "Maryland is home. All my family and friends are here. It kind of chokes you up a little bit. There's a lot of history here at Pimlico. I love it here. Maryland is a great state and racing is going to bounce back and do really good here because Maryland is as good as it gets."

As for his ride on Komba, he said, "Wow, I really never had to do much. At the quarter pole when he kicked in, I said to myself it's time to have fun now and enjoy the ride."

Johnston was awarded a leather jacket by the Maryland Jockey Club while surrounded by his mother, his wife and fellow riders.

A special video presentation was then shown on the infield and in-house monitors .

Johnston's milestone came four days after fellow Maryland-based rider Mario Pino rode his 5,000th winner.

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