Less than a week after wrapping up the Belterra Park meet with 164 wins, jockey Perry Ouzts was at Santa Anita Park galloping a horse during morning training.
Ouzts, in Southern California with his wife, Toni, to visit family, hadn't been to Santa Anita before, even though he has won 6,383 races and competed in 46,875. On Oct. 25 Ouzts said he planned to spend a day at the races while in California, but with the help of agent James Fowler, ended up picking up a mount on the racing card.
"My agent called me and said, 'I got you a horse to ride Saturday.' I asked about it and he said, 'It's in the stakes.' "
Fowler has known trainer Tom Proctor for many years, and Proctor was willing to give Ouzts the mount aboard Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings' Wonderfully in the Oct. 25 Autumn Miss Stakes (gr. IIIT) at one mile on the grass. The Galileo filly, a group III winner in Ireland at 2, is 20-1 on the morning line, but that doesn't matter to Ouzts.
"Not only did he get me a mount, he got me a mount in a grade III stakes," Ouzts said. "I'm just happy to be here. It's one more thing to take off my bucket list."
Ouzts passed Carl Gambardella on the list of all-time winning jockeys to take 15th place in July. He ended the Belterra Park meet one win behind Hall of Famer Eddie Delahoussaye, who is 14th on the list with 6,384.
Ouzts, 60, whose mounts have earned $39.2 million in his career, confirmed he will again return to Turfway Park in Kentucky to ride the December meet and the winter/spring meet from January through March.