Veteran rider Robby Albarado became the 56th North American rider to reach the 4,000-victory milestone Saturday when he rode Barbara Hunter’s Keertana ($5.20) to victory in the ninth race at Churchill Downs.
In his milestone triumph, Albarado split horses in deep stretch on the Matt Winn Turf Course to edge Kiss Mine for the victory.
A 35-year-old native of Lafayette, La., Albarado rode his first winner at age 16 at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana. Albarado, who won his first Churchill Downs riding title at the 2008 Spring Meet, has ridden 811 of his winners beneath the Twins Spires, sixth-most in track history.
Albarado was the regular rider for two-time “Horse of the Year” Curlin on which he earned his only victory in a Triple Crown race, the 2007 Preakness. Albarado also was the regular rider for 2003 “Horse of the Year” Mineshaft.
In his career, Albarado has ridden more than 24,000 races with earnings in excess of $149 million.
POST RACE QUOTES – ROBBY ALBARADO
ROBBY ALBARADO, jockey, following his 4,000th career win
“I guess my next goal would be 5,000. That’s kind of the end your career or the retirement number for most jocks. Once you get to that 5,000, you start looking for the way out. I’m not saying that’s my way out, but you set goals for yourself.
“I never thought I’d get to 4,000 so it’s an honor. I’ve got to congratulate all of the owners and trainers who have supported me continuously throughout the years. They stuck by me, and it’s pretty much been the same guys for the last 10 to 15 years.”