Julien Leparoux has been one of the country’s best jockeys for over a decade now, riding predominately in the heartland of horse racing; Kentucky. He’s won multiple riding titles at Turfway, Keeneland and Churchill, and while he has yet to win the Kentucky Derby, he’s won just about every stakes race worth winning in the state. He even won seven races on one card at Churchill Downs on June 27, 2007, tying the all-time record set by the legendary Pat Day.
But Leparoux isn’t just a Kentucky specialist. He began his career in 2005 at Saratoga, one of the toughest racing venues in the world, and set the all-time record for wins by an apprentice at “The Spa” (28). Still eligible for his apprenticeship in 2006, Leparoux rode an astonishing 403 winners that year and earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice. Among his notable wins in 2006 was his first Grade I, the Beverly D, at Arlington Racecourse on Gorella.
2007 saw Leparoux earn his first Breeders’ Cup victory, as he took the inaugural Juvenile Turf aboard Nownownow. He won the Filly and Mare Turf in 2008 with Forever Together, and then he grabbed a personal best three Breeders’ Cup victories in 2009, winning the Filly and Mare Sprint, Juvenile Fillies, and Dirt Mile. That effort locked up his first Eclipse Award for Outstanding Rider.
Fittingly, Leparoux earned his 2000th win at Churchill Downs on October 29, 2014. To date, Leparoux has over 2,200 wins, and boasts a career winning percentage of over 18%.
Currently, Leparoux is best known for being the rider of Tepin, one of the preeminent turf runners in the world. Tepin won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Turf Mare in 2015, and has begun 2016 undefeated, including her recent win in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot with Leparoux aboard.
Tepin had compiled some nice wins on both turf and dirt at two and three-years-old, but she would become a dominant force on turf at age four, when she was united with Leparoux.
“I don’t think it can be overstated how much Julien gets along with her,” trainer Mark Casse told thoroughbredracing.com in April, “It’s one of those situations where it just clicks. He believes that he’s figured things out about her, and I trust what he says. That may be one of the things that has made her a better horse.”
Leparoux’s ability to develop a rapport with some of the world’s best thoroughbreds will keep him in the upper echelon of the jockey standings for years to come.
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