Friends and family join jockey Mike Allen in Tampa Bay Downs winner's circle after he secured the 2,000th victory of his career

Friends and family join jockey Mike Allen in Tampa Bay Downs winner's circle after he secured the 2,000th victory of his career

courtesy of Tampa Bay Downs

Jockey Allen Calls Photo Finish in Milestone Win

Jockey Mike Allen earned the 2,000th victory of his career April 13.

Jockey Mike Allen earned the 2,000th victory of his career April 13 when he guided Diva Chick to a narrow victory over California Cotton in the first race at Tampa Bay Downs.

While Allen and Diva Chick won the one-mile and 40-yard claiming race by just a nose, Allen was confident of victory over jockey Samy Camacho and California Cotton and he let his rival know.

"I said 'You didn't get me this time, Samy,' " Allen said after the race. "Samy has been on fire, so naturally you would have thought he would have run right by me."

Allen, 50, is a Tampa Bay Downs regular who lives in Oldsmar, Fla. He has been riding since 1985 and has a 2,000-2,228-2,300 record from 18,868 starts. His mounts have earned $21.3 million in purses.

Allen guided L. J. Express to victory in the 1995 Budweiser Mile Handicap at Yakima Meadows. They teamed to win multiple stakes. Other top horses for Allen include multiple stakes winners Break My Heart, Mishill, Banana Rasberry, Special Express, Wabash Sue, Gamblers Passion, Cherokee Prince, and Valley Loot.

Allen, who has battled injuries in recent years, said Friday's milestone score means a lot.

"This is right up there with the stakes races I've won (as an accomplishment)," Allen added. "It's a load off. I had three weeks last month when I hardly rode any horses, but that's part of the business. Things have started clicking, and I knew I'd get it here (at Tampa)."

Allen was joined in the winner's circle by wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Alexis, both pony riders at Tampa Bay Downs; winning trainer Dennis Ward and his wife, Jeanne; and his brother, four-time Tampa Bay Downs jockey champion Ronnie Allen, Jr., who has won 3,615 races. The elder Allen finished third in the race on Hola Princess.