Tommy Pompell scores career win 2,500

It didn’t take long for Tommy Pompell to secure his 2,500th trip to the winner’s circle. Pompell came into the day just one win away from the milestone and easily defeated the field of nine aboard Tornada in the second race of the day.


Tommy Pompell recorded his 2,500th career win Friday, Sept. 29 aboard Tornada in the second race of the afternoon at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Owned by Clabar Mor Stable LLC and Haran Thoroughbreds, Tornada completed the milestone for Pompell with a four and one-half length advantage at the wire after taking over the top spot at the top of the stretch. The seven-year-old Indiana bred daughter of High Fly moved closer to $200,000 in her career with the win for Trainer John Haran.

 “This win feels really great today,” said Pompell. “I started riding in 1996 but didn’t come to Indiana (Hoosier Park) until 1997. I missed the first few years of racing at Indiana Grand (then, known as Indiana Downs) when they started in 2003 because I would go to Florida in the winter and didn’t come back up for the spring meet, but I’ve been here ever since.”


Members of the jockey colony at Indiana Grand come out to congratulate Jockey Tommy Pompell on his 2,500th career win Friday, Sept. 29 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Pompell is currently ranked third in the standings this season at Indiana Grand. His win aboard Tornada was his 71st win of the meet and his mounts have garnered almost $1.6 million this year in purse earnings. Overall, Pompell is ranked fifth on the list of all-time leading riders at Indiana Grand with 410 career wins and purse earnings in excess of $7.7 million.

 Pompell has quite a bit of history on the Indiana racing circuit during his career that spans more than 20 years. He was the leading apprentice rider at Hoosier Park in 1997 and earned leading jockey honors at that track in 2006. He also has leading rider titles from Fairmount Park and Turfway Park. Pompell has 23 career stakes victories in the state of Indiana. Since joining the jockey colony at Indiana Grand in 2006, Pompell has been among the track’s top 10 riders seven times in 11 years.

 Pompell also scored a milestone at Indiana Grand, earning his 1,500th career win at the track in 2008 before scoring his 2,000th win at Turfway Park in January 2010.

 Born in Florida, Pompell is a third generation jockey. He grew up around horses at his grandfather’s (Gerald DeLong) farm in southern Illinois before eventually taking out his license at Fairmount Park in 1996. He credits trainer Eddie Essenpreis for helping him get started as a jockey. Pompell and his wife, Lesalene, who currently serves as assistant trainer for Randy Klopp, now own and operate a farm east of Indiana Grand. Their three sons, Derek, Justin and Matthew, also assist on their farm.

 Pompell started off his work week at Indiana Grand Tuesday, Sept. 26 scoring one win followed by two wins on Wednesday. The multiple stakes winning jockey earned a victory at Churchill Downs Thursday, Sept. 28 to put him one win away when racing resumed at Indiana Grand Friday, Sept. 29.

 The 15th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing continues through Friday, Oct. 27. Racing is conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:05 p.m. with Saturday racing beginning at 6:05 p.m. Additional racing days will be held Thursday, Oct. 19 and Thursday, Oct. 26 beginning at 2:05 p.m.