(from Golden Gate Fields)
Jockey Frank Alvarado, known as a strong finisher, displayed his skill while recording his 2,000th career victory Sept. 18 at Golden Gate Fields.
The 39-year-old Alvarado scored the milestone win aboard 13-1 shot Skimasco, who battled gamely along the rail to win the 5 1/2-furlong fourth race by a nose over Special Therapy. Skimasco responded to strong urging from Alvarado down the stretch to pull out the victory.
Upon returning to the winner's circle, Alvarado was surprised to see Golden Gate Fields personnel holding a sign that read, "Congratulations jockey Frank Alvarado - 2,000 wins."
"I didn't know I was one (win) away and I'm glad I didn't know," said Alvarado. "This way I didn't worry about it. I knew I was getting close but I had no idea I was that close. It's great."
Alvarado already has sights set on his next goal.
"If I can stay safe and healthy, I want to try to win 3,000 races," he said. "I'd like to win No. 3,000 right here at Golden Gate."
Steve Specht, a veteran conditioner who often employs Alvarado to ride his horses, saddled Skimasco.
"I've had a lot of success with Frank," said Specht, who teamed with Alvarado to win the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park in 2007 with McCann's Mojave. "He's a very strong finisher and he's patient. He doesn't run and gun with a horse and have them fall apart on him late in the race. He's a smart rider."
Skimasco, a 2-year-old gelding who was making his career debut, paid $28.60 to win.