Jockey Frank Alvarado, a 45-year-old native of Panama City, Panama, earned his 3,000th victory in North America June 6 when he guided Curly Girly to a 1 1/2-length score in the eighth race at Golden Gate Fields (VIDEO).
Alvarado, who estimates he won another "a hundred races" in his homeland, posted the first victory of his career on April 24, 1984, at Presidente Remon Racetrack in Panama City aboard Gold Son. Alvarado came to the United States in 1990 and notched his first U.S. win at Gulfstream Park in Florida on March 3, 1990, aboard Solely True.
Curly Girly, trained by Larry Ross, ran down the speedy I Like a Kathy in the final yards to win the 5 1/2-furlong starter allowance race in 1:04.64 and provide Alvarado with a thrilling milestone victory. Curly Girly paid $7.80
"To be honest with you, I never thought I could win 3,000," said Alvarado, who gave a couple of fist pumps upon hitting the wire in front. "It's amazing for me, really amazing. It's so exciting to get 3,000."
Alvarado has been based in the Bay Area since 2000 and has been the second-leading jockey at Golden Gate Fields on six occasions. He was the second-leading rider at Bay Meadows four times and won the final race ever contested at the historic peninsula track aboard You Lift Me Up, who captured the Last Dance Stakes on Aug. 17, 2008.