By Frank Angst From The Blood-Horse

Jockey Luis Antonio Gonzalez secured his 3,000th career victory Saturday, July 4 when he guided Tough as Steel to victory in the second race at Thistledown Racino.

After racing seventh early, Gonzalez and owner-trainer Josh Faulkner’s Tough as Steel rallied along the rail in the stretch to post a half-length victory in the one-mile-and-70-yard claiming race.

Originally from Panama, Gonzalez has been based at Thistledown in the summer for the past decade. He leads the current meeting in wins, with 29, and purse earnings at $464,486, through July 4. Gonzalez, who rides at Tampa Bay Downs in the winter, in 2009 earned Turfway Park‘s inaugural Michael F. Rowland Award, which recognizes a rider for work ethic, professionalism, and perseverance.

Gonzalez’s 3,000 wins have come from 20,124 starts and his mounts have earned more than $30.4 million.

Gonzalez has won 69 black-type stakes, including scores aboard Crafty Blue Kat in the 2013 John W. Galbreath Stakes at Thistledown; J’s Sundance Halo in the Leeward Stakes and Bucky’s Prayer in the Satin and Lace Stakes, both in 2008 at Presque Isle Downs; Smarmy in the 2007 Best of Ohio Endurance Stakes at Beulah Park; and Perkins Travels in a division of the 1998 Michigan Sire Stakes at Detroit Race Course.