Trainer Tim Hills saddled the 2000th winner of his career Friday at Gulfstream Park West, visiting the winner's circle with Dom the Bomb after a front-running triumph in the fifth race.
“That means I've been around a long time,” said Hills with a chuckle after a winner's circle ceremony in recognition of his achievement. “I'm now 65, so I've been doing it for so long. When I won my 1,000th race I probably figured out a month later that I won 1,000 races. So, this is the first time I've gotten recognition.”
Dom the Bomb, who was ridden by Luis Castillo, is owned by long-time client Paul Braverman.
“Paul gave me horses in 1980 at Suffolk Downs. That's a guy who's really loyal,” Hills said.
Hills saddled his first winner at Rockingham Park in 1973 and trained on the New England circuit before branching out to New Jersey, New York and Gulfstream Park in the mid-1980s. His most memorable win came when he saddled San's the Shadow for an allowance win at Saratoga Aug. 15, 1987.
“I was in the grandstand. I could have flown to the winner's circle,” he said.
San's the Shadow would go on to win the Kelso (G3) at Belmont a month later, as well as two other graded stakes.
“San's the Shadow was my first ticket that I could go somewhere else and win races,” Hills said.
The star of Hills' stable is Kharafa, a multiple-winner with more than $1.1 million in earnings. The 8-year-old New York-bred gelding, who is owned by Braverman and Timothy Pinch, is also multiple graded-stakes placed.
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