Saturday, December 31, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 31, 2011 – Veteran jockey Perry Ouzts won three races at Turfway Park Saturday night to end the year with a new milestone: career win number 5,800.
Ouzts won Saturday's first race with 9-5 Chocolate Licorice and the fourth race with 5-2 Hotnitesinmichigan before driving up the rail nearly gate to wire to take the eighth race with 20-1 Keyite.
Ouzts remains 18th on the all-time wins list, 93 behind Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey. Of those ahead of him, only Russell Baze (first with 11,436 wins through Dec. 30), Edgar Prado (ninth with 6,510), and Mario Pino (13th with 6,387) are still active.
Ouzts grew up in Rivervale, Ark., riding horses with his cousin, Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires. He began his career at Beulah Park in 1973 and has been a consistent leader on the Ohio circuit ever since, holding a record 25 meet titles from River Downs and at least 11 at Beulah Park. He has one meet title at Turfway, taking the Fall Meet in 2010.