Idaho Native Wins Two Races on the Sunday, February 4, 2024 Card to Clinch the Milestone

HOUSTON, TX – Thoroughbred trainer J. R. Caldwell had a feeling that he would finally clinch his 1,000th career win this weekend at Sam Houston Race Park. He ran second twice on Saturday, February 3 with five  entrants on Sunday. He won the second race on the program withPickingupstrangers for Farmer Fillies Racing and clinched the milestone in the final race on Sunday, February 4 with Jackman’s Ride, owned by Steve Dupy and Randy Chelf. Jockey Rene Diaz rode both winners.

It was a proud moment for Caldwell, who reflected on his training career which began in 1994.

“I never dreamed when I was growing up in Ovid, Idaho, such a small town that it doesn’t even state its population, that I would ever win 1,000 races,” reflected Caldwell.  “This has been a long time coming!” 

Caldwell was ten wins shy of the milestone before the opening weekend of the 2024 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred meet. 

“I want to thank God and my parents,” he said. “I am grateful for the support of each of my owners and assistants Megan Houser and Kylie Salisbury as well as my veterinarian Dr. O’Quinn, who has looked after my horses in the last 900 starts.”

Caldwell, 49, has always loved horses. He rode on the bush tracks as a young teenager and assisted his father, Roscoe, running horses in Utah, Arizona, Wyoming and  Idaho for decades before going out on his own at the age of 18. The wins did not come very often in the beginning, but in 2008, the tide changed. His top earner, Texas Chrome, was a two-time Texas Thoroughbred Association Horse of the Year. Caldwell set up shop at Churchill Downs, Remington Park, Delta Downs and Lone Star Park. Several years ago, he streamlined his operation and has been pleased with his results in Texas.

His Sam Houston stakes winners include Sky Ride, who won the 2021 Stonerside Stakes in a dead-heat with Hollis before taking the Bucharest Stakes on closing night of the season. His turf star Singapore Flash has won 8 of his 31 starts with two stakes victories. 

Caldwell currently resides in Valley View, Texas. He has 56 horses currently stabled at Sam Houston Race Park and is second to Steve Asmussen in the trainer standings. Caldwell will head to Lone Star Park when the Sam Houston meet wraps on April 7.