(Jockey Rafael Bejarano / Coady Photography)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team:
Rafael Bejarano became only the 15th rider in Churchill Downs history to record 500 victories beneath the historic Twin Spires when debuting 2-year-old filly Just Cindy prevailed in Friday’s seventh race.
Bejarano joined Pat Day (2,482 Churchill Downs wins), Calvin Borel (1,232), Robby Albarado (1,192) and Corey Lanerie (1,172), Julien Leparoux (1,002), Don Brumfield (925), Larry Melancon (914), Jim McKnight (883), Charlie Woods Jr. (757), Brian Hernandez Jr. (740), Shane Sellers (738), Shaun Bridgmohan (728), Julio Espinoza (642) and Jon Court (583) in a select group of jockeys that reached the 500-win milestone at Churchill Downs.
Bejarano, who will turn 40 on June 23, became riding in his native Peru in 1999. He began riding at Churchill Downs in 2003 and won three local riding titles (2004-05 Spring and 2005 Fall) before moving his tack to California in 2008. He returned to the Kentucky circuit in 2020.
A winner of 61 Grade I races in his career, some of Bejarano’s most prestigious victories at Churchill Downs include the 2010 Longines Kentucky Oaks (Blind Luck); 2010 Old Forester Turf Classic (General Quarters); 2007 Derby City Distaff (Hystericalady); 2020 Clark (Bodexpress); and 2004 Stephen Foster (Colonial Colony).
Just Cindy, trained by Eddie Kenneally, was Bejarano’s 4,281st career win. His more than 21,000 lifetime mounts have amassed more than $217 million in prize money.