“To tie a legend like that is an amazing feeling,” said Pino, a Maryland resident and longtime rider in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Pino became the 15th jockey in North America to win 6,000 races when he rode Pass Play, a horse trained by his brother, Mike, to victory at Laurel Nov. 7, 2007.
His next career goal is to land in the top 10 all-time before retiring. He is 87 wins away from passing Earlie Fires and moving into exclusive company.
Pino, who rides at Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Pennsylvania in the spring and summer, must pass Larry Snyder (6,388 wins) and Sandy Hawley (6,450) before setting sights on the recently retired Fires (6,470).
“I am not getting many opportunities right now so it is going to take some time,” said Pino, who has cleared 200 wins in a year 11 times during his career. “But that’s racing. I have no complaints about my career. I am healthy and feel like I can ride another couple years.”
Pino, who turned 50 Sept. 8, won his first race aboard Ed’s Desire Jan. 16, 1979, at Bowie Race Course in Maryland and has nearly 5,000 victories at Laurel, Pimlico Race Course, Bowie, and the Maryland State Fair at Timonium.