Robby Albarado became the 56th North American jockey to reach the 4,000-victory milestone when he rode Barbara Hunter’s Keertana to victory in the ninth race at Churchill Downs on May 30.
In his milestone triumph, Albarado split horses in deep stretch on the Matt Winn Turf Course to edge Kiss Mine by three-quarters of a length for the victory.
“I guess my next goal would be 5,000," Albarado said. "That’s kind of the end your career or the retirement number for most jocks. Once you get to that 5,000, you start looking for the way out. I’m not saying that’s my way out, but you set goals for yourself.
“I never thought I’d get to 4,000 so it’s an honor. I’ve got to congratulate all of the owners and trainers who have supported me continuously throughout the years. They stuck by me, and it’s pretty much been the same guys for the last 10 to 15 years.”
A 35-year-old native of Lafayette, La., Albarado rode his first winner at age 16 at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana. Albarado, who won his first Churchill Downs riding title at the 2008 spring meet, has ridden 812 of his 4,001 winners beneath the Twin Spires, the sixth-largest win total in track history.
Albarado was the regular rider for two-time Horse of the Year Curlin on which he earned his only victory in a Triple Crown race, the 2007 Preakness (gr. I). He also was the regular rider for 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft.
In his career, Albarado has ridden more than 24,000 races with earnings in excess of $149 million.
One race after his 4,000th win, Albarado guided Bold Start to victory in the $112,600 Aristides (gr. III).