Cliff Berry

Cliff Berry

Dustin Orona Photography

Berry Wins 4,000th Race

Veteran jockey scored the milestone win aboard Brown Okie at Remington Park.

Veteran jockey Cliff Berry won the 4,000th Thoroughbred race of his career Oct. 28 at Remington Park when his mount, 4-5 favorite Brown Okie, rolled to a 2 3/4-length victory in the third race.

Berry, a 50-year-old native of Joplin, Mo., has resided in Jones, Okla. for more than 20 years and has won the Remington Park jockey title on 14 occasions. Nearly half of Cliff Berry's wins have come in Oklahoma City, where he has recorded 1,923 Thoroughbred wins at Remington Park since the track opened in 1988. 

Berry also is the all-time leading rider at Remington Park, winning his first riding title there with the1996 spring meeting. He then won Remington titles again in 1998, 1999, 2000 fall/winter, 2001 fall/winter, 2002, 2003,  2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and the 2011 meet with 68 wins.

The multiple graded stakes-winning jockey ranks first among jockeys at Remington Park in 2012 as well, with 43 of his 227 mounts (19%) visiting the winner's circle this year for earnings of $1,011,779. 

"I felt the pressure in the gate; I guess it was because I knew this one could be the one," said Berry. "It felt like I was riding in a million dollar race. I'm amazed that I could go this far, I've been lucky and never have been hurt too bad. I didn't do too well in the early days so I want to thank all those who stuck behind me. I guess you might say I'm a slow learner." 

Berry was inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2011. He is also the all-time leading rider at Lone Star Park and won the riding title at Oaklawn Park in 2011 and 2012. He is credited with his first career win June 3, 1981 at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, Louisiana.

Berry's 25,675 career mounts have earned a total of $55,975,249. This year, he has won 160 races from 696 starts, for earnings of $3,411,639.

In December 2010, Berry set a Remington Park standard for wins on one Thoroughbred program and became the first rider since Russell Baze at Bay Meadows in August 2006 to go 7-for-7 on the same card.