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J. Z. Santana Picks Up Career Win No. 1,000

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/09/2011 #

Jockey Jozbin “J.Z.” Santana notched the 1,000th victory of his career when he guided James DiVito, Vince Swartz & Joe Paglini’s Clocker Bob to a four-length win for trainer DiVito in the seventh race Friday at Arlington Park. 

Earlier in the day, Santana picked up win No. 998 aboard Ron Magers, Roe Conn, Robert Marcocchio & Russell Scurto’s Third Chance, also trained by DiVito, in the first race and tallied No. 999 astride Robert Heckmann’s Hot Kitten in the sixth race for trainer Michele Boyce.

Santana was joined in the winner’s circle by agent Penny Ffitch-Heyes, Arlington officials and his fellow riders as a video played saluting the milestone score as well as highlights of his career since coming to Chicago to ride last year.

“I’m very happy and I want to give all the glory to God,” Santana said.  “I thank everybody here in Chicago that has been treating me very good and giving me live mounts.  I appreciate everything that everyone has done for me.”

A 32-year-old native of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, Santana became the father of a baby girl named Joshinelli born Monday on the Fourth of July.  Currently leading the standings at Arlington, he also tied for leading rider honors at Hawthorne Race Course this spring.