FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Jockey Joel Cruz notched his 1,000th career win at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (FLGR) on Thursday, August 6. He guided Distorted Dream to a four and three-quarter length victory in the eighth race to reach the milestone.
The 34-year-old journeyman was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He began riding at Camarero Racetrack in 2000 and recorded his first win aboard "Sangre Azul".
Cruz was the leading apprentice at the Puerto Rico track his first season. He registered a total of 116 victories his rookie year.
“I am thankful to everyone,” said Cruz. “The trainers, owners and my agent helped me reach 1,000 wins.”
Cruz earned two of his nine career stakes triumphs at FLGR. He won the $124,888 Lady Finger Stakes in 2012 with Matchmadeinheaven and the $50,000 Susan B. Anthony Stakes in 2013 aboard Capella Dancer.
Joel Cruz registered 134 wins during his four years at F.L.G.R. He returned to action in April after missing seven months due to a leg injury he sustained on September 19, 2014.
Distorted Dream was directed by Cruz to all four of his 2015 victories. The Mark Tasso-trainee completed the six furlong sprint in a time of 1:11.51 and paid $3.50, $2.30 and $2.10. Statutorial was second and returned $2.90 and $2.60. That’s Allie’s Baby was third and paid $3.30.
About Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack: In operation since 1962, the facility added gaming to its offering in 2004 and expanded again in 2013 by adding 33,000 square feet with a $12 million expansion. Nearly two million visitors annually now visit the facility highlighted by over 1,500 gaming machines, the 448-seat Vineyard Buffet, Remedy Bar & Lounge, well as live and simulcast thoroughbred racing. Gaming doors open at 8 a.m. and racing doors open at 11:30 a.m. daily. For more information, visit www.fingerlakesgaming.com.