Jockey Tim Doocy became the 25th rider to win 5,000 races when he guided Color Out to victory in the nightcap at Oaklawn Park on April 4.
The 53-year-old rider, a native of Blue Earth, Minn, came into the day needing two victories to reach the milestone. He won the first race aboard Away She Go, a 3-year-old filly that took a $10,000 maiden claiming race by one length at odds of 11-1. He then reached his goal with 10-1 shot Color Me Out, a 4-year-old Oklahoma-bred gelding who won the maiden claiming event by 3 3/4 lengths.
The veteran jockey has more than $65 million in purse earnings since 1976, according to the Jockey Club. He has won 298 stakes, including 24 that were graded, among them aboard Restless Con in in the 1990 Haskell Invitational (gr. I).
Doocy began the Oaklawn meeting 24 victories shy of 5,000.
He said earlier that reaching the plateau at the Hot Springs, Arkansas, track, where he led all riders by wins during the 1998-99 seasons, would have special meaning.
“One of the reasons I would like to reach the 5,000-win milestone here at Oaklawn is that our neighbors from Oklahoma and Hot Springs are both pulling for us,” said Doocy, an Edmond, Oklahoma, resident. “My wife, Terry, and I have talked about it a couple of times, and she says where ever I reach it, she will be there with me to take the picture with me, and give me a big hug.”
Overcoming serious injuries and still riding after many former riders his age have long since retired, Doocy said the secret is to think positive and establish goals.
“One thing you can never do in any occupation is give up," he said. "When I speak to a group, especially young people at schools, I emphasize this to listeners. I insist they work hard and be nice to people. Maybe someone will notice and give them an opportunity.
"That someone could be a total stranger, who just happened to see you working hard. One year at Oaklawn I didn’t win a race. The next year here, I won the jockey title.”
The jockey isn't ready to call it a career yet. He insists he still has some good years in the saddle remaining.
One of his favorite horses was the popular Chindi, a career earner of $1 million. Chindi was retired in Oklahoma, but has since come back to the Steve Hobby barn as a stable pony.
On Nov. 3, 1996 at Remington Park, Doocy enjoyed an afternoon that most riders only dream about. He accepted mounts in six stakes and won with four of them. “They were Brush With Pride in the Turf, Western Lil in the Distaff, Highland Ice (in) the Sprint and Western Train (in) the Juvenile,” he recalled.
“I have been very lucky to have the support of trainers like Kenny Smith and Steve Hobby. In the late Jack Moody, I had a top agent,” noted Doocy.