Louisiana has long been known for producing top notch jockeys. Among the elite group of riders from the Bayou State are Calvin Borel, Robby Albarado, Eddie Delahoussaye, Kent Desormeaux and Corey Lanerie to name a few.
Long before pari-mutuel wagering and organized horse racing came along, Louisiana was laden with “bush” tracks. Every weekend horseman would gather at the nearest track for match races pitting horses one on one to see who had the fastest animal.
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More often than not the jockeys competing in these races were family members of the owner or horse trainer. It was commonplace to see boys around the age of 10 clinging to the backs of the 1,000 pound animals as they thundered down the track.
Corey Lanerie is no exception. He was born into racing. His grandfather owned and trained racehorses and his father was a jockey who later turned to training. Corey began exercising horses at the tender age of nine and soon after was honing his skills at local bush tracks.
Corey’s first official win came at Evangeline Downs on April 19, 1991 aboard High Hopes Banquet. Since that time he has done nothing but ascend. He dominated Lone Star Park’s jockey colony by taking home four consecutive riding titles from 1999-2003. Corey also led the jockey standings at Sam Houston Race Park and Retama Park in Texas.
From there he moved to Kentucky for the summer while racing in Louisiana during the winter. Corey has continued his winning ways by capturing seven riding titles out of the past eight meets at Churchill Downs. The Louisiana native had won numerous minor stakes and over a dozen graded stakes before clinching his first Grade One win aboard the filly Hooh Why, a pick-up mount, in the 2009 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland Race Course. He was afforded the opportunity to ride this race when Hooh Why’s scheduled rider became ill.
In 2014, Corey was awarded the highest honor bestowed upon jockeys when he was named the winner of the annual George Woolf Memorial Award. source. This award is given annually to one rider who demonstrates outstanding character and performance both on and off the track.
Held in high regard by horsemen and his fellow jockeys wherever he goes, Corey Lanerie will undoubtedly become one of the greatest riders of all time.