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Jockey Perry Ouzts gets 7,000th career win and celebrates the milestone with an old friend

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

Fans didn’t have to wait long to see jockey Perry Ouzts get career win 7,000 at Belterra Park in Cincinnati Friday.


Ouzts, who lives in Hebron, finished a game second aboard his first mount of the day, Foots, in Race 2. He picked up the mount on the favorite in Race 3, heightening the anticipation for those waiting to watch history unfold.

Trainer Gary Patrick originally named Cheyanna Patrick, his daughter, to ride three-year-old filly Emmy’s Candy, but handed off the mount to Ouzts.

Jockey Perry Ouzts enters the winner’s circle with arms upraised as he celebrates career win #7,000 aboard Emmy’s Candy at Belterra Park Friday.

At 2-1 in the program, Emmy’s Candy went off as the odds-on favorite and the outcome was never in doubt.

Breaking from post 4, Ouzts lived up to his “Scoot ‘n Boot” nickname and hustled the chestnut, Ohio-bred, filly to a clear lead.

As horse and rider turned for home, Ouzts began to open up and fans that lined the stretch cheered as Emmy’s Candy drew of to win the 6 1/2 furlong contest by more than 10 lengths.

Ouzts, 64, becomes just the ninth jockey in North American thoroughbred history to reach 7,000 career victories.

Click here to read an account of the path Ouzts has taken to reach the career milestone and find out just how long he plans to keep on riding winners.

Jockey Perry Ouzts, right, and Hall-of-Famer Pat Day hold up seven fingers to commemorate Ouzts getting career win #7,000 at Belterra Park Friday (photos by Mark Hansel).

Following the race, Ouzts was joined in the winner’s circle for the traditional photo and a series of pictures that included his wife Toni, Belterra staff, the jockey colony and a special guest.

Hall-of-Fame jockey Pat Day made the trip to Cincinnati to celebrate the event with his longtime friend. Day, who has described Ouzts as one of the fiercest competitors he has ever faced, has more than 8,000 career wins on his resume.

The two legendary jocks embraced in the winner’s circle, as Day added his congratulations and posed for several photos with Ouzts.

Belterra Park presented Ouzts with a trophy and a sign commemorating the accomplishment.

Ouzts has won 34 riding titles at Belterra Park/River Downs and one at Turfway Park in Florence, in addition to at least 11 at the now-closed Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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