Filed under: Sports
The feat was accomplished in his last race of the year as Gomez had left the title hanging in his competitor's hands until the last day of 2009. Leparoux, who had returned to his native France to be with his family, started off the day $26,994 ahead of Gomez, who only had two mounts scheduled in the eight race program. Gomez finished the second race last earning only $400 and his win on Fund Raiser in the fourth race still left him trailing by $194 dollars with no more horses left to ride.
Fellow jockey Martin Pedroza "conveniently" felt ill and Gomez took over his mount for the eighth and final race of the day. As all starters in California are guaranteed $400 dollars just for running the race Gomez did not have to win to pull ahead of Leparoux and finish with the coveted national earnings title. That did not stop him from piloting Cenzio to a win and picking up the $10,800 purse giving him at total earnings of $18,571,171, which was $10,606 more than Leparoux.
The record for the most consecutive national earnings title is held by Bill Shoemaker who won it seven successive years from 1958 through 1964. For those who are curious how the Kentucky Derby winning Calvin Borel fared, he finished in 14th place on the final list with a total of 853 starts and $9,244,647 in earnings.