Horse Racing - Leparoux moves to California

Julien Leparoux, the French star of the American racing scene, has decided to leave Kentucky and settle in California.

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2012 Julien Leparoux

With over $12 million in winnings during a 2012 that is still not over, Leparoux is sixth in the rankings of jockeys operating in America.

It is a position to which keen observers are now accustomed; such is the extent to which the 29-year-old from Picardy has shone on the East Coast since he arrived in 2005.

An apprentice at the time, he distinguished himself at meetings at New York State’s Saratoga Springs. A true revelation, he set himself up in Keeneland, Kentucky, close to Lexington, the American equivalent to Chantilly.

He would make his name in 2009, particularly with three historic wins over the Breeders’ Cup weekend, which only Garrett Gomez had done before him. A legend was born.

Leparoux is never one to shy away from a challenge so, having won everything from Florida to New York via Kentucky, he had his eye on the Californian sun and the prestigious racecourse of Santa Anita.

Meeting Shea Mitchell, daughter of Mike Mitchell, a trainer with 2,595 wins and $62 million in winnings, convinced him. Living in Inglewood, California, close to Hollywood Park, the Mitchell family welcomed the French champion with open arms.

After years of moving around and too much travelling, Julien the Globe-Trotter finally put down his silks and crop last October.

“I’ve lived all over the East Coast. I’m here to stay”, he told the Daily Racing Form.

And the prospect of his upcoming marriage, on December 10, is comforting him in his new life.

“Then we’ll be flying off to Bora Bora for our honeymoon”, he added.

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