YONKERS, N.Y. — Jason Bartlett, Yonkers Raceway’s perennial leading driver, reached 7,000 career victories Sunday.
The milestone number came behind favored trotter I C Caviar in the seventh race.
Bartlett took the 6-year-old Malabar Millennium gelding, making his first start for trainer Richard Banca, past Me the Boss down the backside, then defeated 65-1 outsider Mr. Protab by two lengths in 1 minute, 58.2 seconds.
The 36-year-old Bartlett, a native of Augusta, Maine, has earned $87.7 million in career purses. He began Sunday leading the local drivers in wins (297) and purses ($6.1 million).
Bartlett went through an uncharacteristic dry spell of three wins in 35 races before getting to 7,000.
“Longest three days of my life,” Bartlett said, “I’m so happy it’s over, and the kids are, too. They were asking me, ‘Daddy, do we have to go to the track again?’
“I was talking with my wife (Kristen) the other day,” Bartlett added. “We’re been down here close to 10 years now, and when I first came, I was around 2,000 wins. It’s been a hell of a ride.”