Jockey Scott Spieth notched career victory 4,000 April 6 at Tampa Bay Downs and was immediately surrounded in the winner's circle by his fellow riders (VIDEO).
The 45-year-old Spieth eloquently put into words how he felt following his 5 ¼-length victory aboard Reid Nagle’s 4-year-old filly Ula in the seventh race, a $20,500 maiden special weight at five furlongs for fillies and mares.
“It really makes me feel good because I have a lot of friends in the jock’s room, and everybody in there knows how much of a grind it is and how hard it is to get to your goals,” Spieth said.
“Fortunately things have gone well for me, but it means a lot that all the riders are here for me. I also have to thank all the trainers who have stayed behind me and thank my family, because there is a lot of dedication required in this business.”
Spieth rode three winners on Friday’s card, giving him consecutive three-victory performances at the Oldsmar, Fla. track. He followed up right away with victory No. 4,001. In the eighth race, another five-furlong maiden special weight, aboard Lori Smock’s 5-year-old first-time starter Photo Session, he won at odds of 11-1.
He said his ultimate goal would be to reach 5,000.
Spieth and his wife Rhonda Swan Spieth, also a jockey, have three daughters and two sons. Kirsten Swan, Scott’s stepdaughter and another jockey, currently works in Lexington. The Spieths reside on a 13-acre spread in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
“My daughter Valerie, who is 5, has been riding our horses since she was 2, and I think she is going to be a jockey,” Spieth observed recently. “She would rather watch race replays than cartoons, so I’m in trouble with that one.
“I’m sure I will get a lot of phone calls when I get home, from my parents in Michigan and my family in Ohio. I love that it is 4,000, but there are so many more races ahead of me. I try to focus on what is next.”
Spieth currently is seventh in the Tampa Bay Downs jockey standings with 30 victories. Last year, he was the top money-winning jockey at Presque Isle Downs in Erie, Pa., with earnings of $2.3 million, and third in victories with 89.
He finished 2011 with almost $3.4 million in purse earnings, his best figure since 2006. In October, he won three stakes on the Best of Ohio card at Thistledown.