|Hawthorne Racecourse daily notes (4/13/03)
Contact: Jim Miller
Curt Bourque Wins 3,000th
STICKNEY, IL -- Today jockey Curt Bourque won his 3,000th career race aboard Golden Glacken in the fourth race at Hawthorne. Bourque, 35, began riding in 1984 at Evangeline Downs and won his first race later that year at Jefferson Downs. Bourque had ridden the Chicago circuit in the early 1990s before moving his tack to Louisiana full time. He returned to Chicago this year and currently stands in fourth place in the Hawthorne rider standings.
"I want to thank the my wife Wendy, and my kids Chastity (14yo) and Skilar (12 next month). If it weren't for my wife, I wouldn't be here now. Wendy and I have been together since we were 16 years old. She stuck with me during some pretty tough times. She was with me through many personal problems. I'm blessed to have a beautiful family. They are real proud of me. They called me a little while ago to congratulate me. They were watching the race back in Louisiana.
"I really thought I would get the win yesterday but had some pretty tough racing luck. Sometimes that's the way things happen. People kept telling me to settle down, settle down but much of what happened was out of my control.
"I had ridden this horse before. I was pretty confident going into the race. I don't think he liked being on the inside last time but today he was out from the rail and he ran much better. Going into the turn I knew I had a lot of horse and that anybody running at me was going to need plenty of horse to get me. When I moved my hands he ranged up there. He didn't do that last time.
"I have to thank all the trainers that have helped me out, not only here but back in Louisiana. Wayne Catalano and Frank Calabrese, Tommy Tomillo, and Gene Cilio have been great to me at this meet. You are only as good as the horse that you ride and they have been giving me live horses. That's all I can ask.
"This win came fast, much faster than I expected. Last year I finally checked to see how many winners I had. I was surprised to see that I was approaching 3000. I got my 2500th in Indiana and my 2000 in Louisiana. I'm glad that my 3000 came here.
"I want to make Chicago my year-round circuit. I left here before because I missed home and I wanted to ride the winter meet in New Orleans but I'm back to stay. Chicago is the place for me. People treat me really well around here. I think the only reason I would stop riding here now is if I stop riding and I don't think that will happen any time soon."