Perry Ouzts after win 5,000.

Perry Ouzts after win 5,000.

Garry Landers

Ouzts Bags Career Win No. 5,000 at River Downs

Jockey Perry Ouzts won the 5,000th race of his career Aug. 21 when he booted Kandinsky home in the first race at River Downs in Ohio.

From River Downs

The career of Arkansas native Perry Ouzts has brought with it broken bones, near career-ending spills, 18 riding titles, a wife he calls his “biggest fan,” two sons, and 5,000 victories after the first race Aug. 21 at River Downs in Ohio.

In his patented riding style that has nicknamed him “Scoot N’ Boot,” Ouzts hustled Kandinsky out of the gate and went wire-to-wire on the front end to victory. He returned to an overflow crowd of family, friends, jockeys, and racing officials in the winner’s circle and received a rousing round of applause.

His mount, Kandinsky, was a bit fractious from all the commotion, but he finally straightened out for a packed winner’s circle photo.

After weighing out, the 53-year-old rider returned to accept a large trophy commemorating his accomplishment and then he posed for the traditional jockey colony photo. In winning his 5,000th race, Ouzts joins an exclusive club in Thoroughbred racing, becoming only the 22nd jockey to obtain that mark.

“I want to thank all of the trainers and owners who helped put me in this situation,” Ouzts said after the race. “Most of all, I want to thank my wife Toni for all of the support she has given me through the years. She’s a big part of this.”

His personal record after the first race stood at 39,429 mounts, 5,000 wins, 4,911 seconds, and 4,801 third-place finishes. His mounts have earned more than $29 million. Ouzts wasted little time sitting on his laurels; he won the next two races on the card.

(Chart, Equibase)