(Jockey Kendrick Carmouche on True Timber / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Kendrick Carmouche registered his first-ever riding title for a New York Racing Association meet, notching 23 victories to pace all jockeys for the 18-day fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack that ran from November 6 through Sunday, December 6. Christophe Clement tallied 16 wins to lead all trainers, while Klaravich Stables and Repole Stables each campaigned five winners to finish as co-leading owners.
Carmouche, a mainstay on the NYRA circuit, earned his first NYRA riding crown by registering a 23-18-14 record in 123 mounts with earnings of more than $1.50 million. The soon-to-be 37-year-old compiled a slew of riding titles earlier in his career, racking up seven at Parx from 2008-11 in a run that earned him induction into that track’s Hall of Fame in 2015.
Closing weekend was a memorable one for Carmouche, who registered his first career Grade 1 win when he piloted True Timber to a 5 ½-length victory in the $250,000 Cigar Mile on Saturday. Carmouche was emotional after career start No. 20,377, helping True Timber earn a spot on the wall of Cigar Mile-winners that decorate the Aqueduct paddock.
“I owe it all to my fans, my wife and kids and how much they stuck with me and kept me pushing and fighting in this game,” Carmouche said. “This means so much to me. This is the biggest win of my career and I hope I have many more blessed ones.”
Among Carmouche’s other accomplishments this fall was a trio of stakes wins, starting with Malathaat in the $100,000 Tempted on November 6 and aboard Never Surprised in the $100,000 Central Park on November 28. His clinching race on Sunday came aboard even-money favorite Laobanonaprayer in the $250,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Fifth Avenue. The native of Vinton, Louisiana, started his professional career in 2000 and has more than 3,300 wins, including six Grade 2 scores.
Carmouche edged Jose Lezcano [19 wins] and Joel Rosario  for the top spot.
“I give thanks to everyone who put a good effort in to supporting me and pushed me along to win this meet. I’m very appreciative,” Carmouche said. “I seized the opportunity at hand and I’m grateful for all the trainers and owners for letting me show other people that I can win races. I’m very blessed to say that I’ve come to New York five years ago and I got a title for the fall meet. I’m very pleased with myself. I’m sure my mom and dad and all my fans are just so happy for me. I’m on cloud nine right now and I might not come down until next Thursday.”
Clement, who finished with the second-most wins at the just-concluded Belmont fall meet, earned his first NYRA meet title, registering a 16-6-1 record with 52 starters. He edged Todd Pletcher by one win for the top spot.
The 55-year-old conditioner, who trained his first winner in 1991, added another accomplishment to a stellar career that already includes training a two-time Eclipse Award Champion in Gio Ponti and a memorable Classic win when Tonalist thwarted California Chrome’s 2014 Triple Crown bid by winning the Belmont Stakes.
“It’s my first one in New York and it feels great,” Clement said. “Nothing would be possible without the horses, the owners and the staff. I’m thrilled because New York means a lot to me. It was a good meet; we’ve won at different levels. The maidens have been running great and we won stakes races; the whole stable is doing well.”
This meet, Clement enjoyed success with numerous maidens and stakes horses, topped by Mutamakina’s win in the Grade 3 Long Island on November 28. He also won his famous horse’s stakes namesake, with City Man capturing the Gio Ponti, as well as Feel Glorious taking the Forever Together and Therapist winning the Artie Schiller.
“I consider myself a New Yorker now, so it really means something,” said Clement, a native of France who now lives on Long Island.
Klaravich Stables, the year-ending leading owner on the NYRA circuit in 2019, produced another successful meet. Headed by Seth Klarman, Klaravich Stables finished as the top owner at the Belmont fall meet for the fourth straight time. At Aqueduct, his stable went 5-4-5 with 18 starters, finishing in the money an impressive 77.78 percent of the time with earnings of $325,540, bolstered by Duopoly’s win in the $100,000 Winter Memories.
It was the fourth consecutive meet Klaravich Stables at least shared top owner status, joining the Belmont fall, Saratoga summer and Belmont spring/summer.
Repole Stable, led by Mike Repole, also won five races, compiling a 5-3-2 record with 22 starters for earnings of $320,676, garnering a share of its first meet title since the 2019 Aqueduct spring. Never Surprised provided Repole Stable’s stakes win in the $100,000 Central Park on November 28.
Thoroughbred action continues at Aqueduct Racetrack for the 56-day winter meet that begins Thursday, December 10 and runs through Sunday, March 28. In total, 42 stakes worth $4.57 million in purses will be offered, with live racing generally conducted Thursday through Sunday until the end of February with a holiday break set for December 24 – 27 and the addition of special Monday cards on January 18 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and February 15 for Presidents’ Day.