Berry, Zimmerman Reach Milestones at Lone Star

(from Lone Star Park notes)
Jockeys Cliff Berry became Lone Star Park's all-time leading rider and Ramsey Zimmerman earned his 1,000th victory Sunday at the Grand Prairie, Texas, racetrack.

Berry snapped a tie with Corey Lanerie (who rode regularly at Lone Star Park from 1997-2003) as the track's career win leader when Haveuseenthelight gave him his 478th trip to the Lone Star Park winner's circle in Sunday's fifth race. The 44-year-old Joplin, Mo., native now holds the career win records for both Lone Star and Remington Park.

"It's been fantastic," said Berry, who has won the last two riding titles at Lone Star, including a single season record 103 victories last year. "I remember the first year here (1997) and I didn't even have an agent. I just love horse racing. I've been riding since I was in high school and surely I've learned a few things along the way. This milestone goes out to all of the owners and trainers who let me ride fast horses."

Berry, who pulled within 36 victories of his 3,000th Thoroughbred win in a 26-year riding career, has ridden regularly at Lone Star since the racetrack opened 10 years ago in 1997. He missed the 1998 season due to injury.

Zimmerman, who began the day tied with Berry atop the jockey standings in his first season at Lone Star, piloted Spend a Web to victory in the sixth race for career win No. 1,000. It was the second of three wins on the afternoon for the 25-year-old native of Palm Beach, Fla.

"I've been around horses my whole life, and I've always been small enough, and this is what I've always what I wanted to do," said Zimmerman, who rode his first winner at Fairmount Park on May 21, 1998 at the age of 16. "I came up in Chicago, and at the time they had a really strong jockey colony, and I looked up to guys like Earlie Fires, Mark Guidry and Carlos Silva."

Zimmerman won a career-high 326 races in 2004, which ranked fourth nationally behind Rafael Bejarano, Ramon Dominguez and John Velazquez. After finishing second to Chris Emigh at the 2006 Hawthorne Fall Meeting, he moved his tack to Fair Grounds where he was eighth in the standings with 41 wins.

In his first season at Lone Star, he's been riding horses for the top two trainers, Bret Calhoun and Cody Autrey. "I have a lot of good people behind me and I'm just happy to be here," Zimmerman said.

(Chart, Equibase)

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