California's leading jockey, Rafael Bejarano, achieved a milestone Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park, riding to his 3,000th career victory in the first race aboard Ondine, a 3-year-old filly trained by Bob Baffert.
Bejarano, 30, a native of Peru, has become the go-to rider on the Southern California horse racing circuit.
"I'm really happy for this moment," he said. "A week ago somebody told me I only needed seven or eight to get to 3,000, so I was starting to get excited and preparing for it.
"Nobody can get to 3,000 that easy, and I'm really honored to be here."
Bejarano won his first race on Dec. 8, 2000, in Lima. He has won four riding titles at Hollywood Park and is leading the jockey standings.