Jockey Perry Ouzts moved his way up in the records this weekend at River Downs.
He scored victory number 5,894 and passed Hall of Fame rider Jerry Bailey to become the 17th leading rider in the history of thoroughbred racing.
Ouzts did it in the 5th race aboard "Lucky Dan."
"Just another day at the office,' Ouzts replied on his accomplishment.
Ouzts did take pride in replacing Jerry Bailey in the 17th position. “Now that does mean something special because he won most of his races on Cadillacs. I had to work for my wins,” said Ouzts.
The statistics certainly bear out the difference in the quality of horses ridden by each. In 30,856 mounts Bailey’s horses accrued $296,113,529, while Ouzts has ridden in 44,321 races for earnings of $35,209,787.
“When he started out he could have been a leading rider in Chicago, New York or anyplace, he is just that good,” stated trainer Ken McPeek, who also started his career at River Downs. “Perry just liked to stay close to home. He’s one of the best.” Ouzts’ biggest career win came in the $200,000 Cradle Stakes at River Downs in 2007 on a horse he rode for McPeek.
Ouzts recently made the news for a different kind of riding prowess. Driving back from the morning workouts on his Harley-Davidson on I-275, he was struck by a car in Hebron and slid across two lanes of traffic going into his instinctive “jockey tuck.” With his exercise flak jacket, leather chaps and protective helmet on, he came out of the incident relatively unscathed. He returned to the track only hours later to capture both halves of the Daily Double.