Ouzts Passes Eddie D. With 6,385th Career Win

November 02, 2014 07:07am
Perry Ouzts joins Race Day America as he makes his first career start at Santa Anita
Photo: Santa Anita Photo

In a career that began in 1973, Perry Ouzts has accomplished a lot in his career. He added one more milestone to his credentials Saturday, Nov. 1 at Indiana Grand, earning win number 6,385 to move into 14th place on the list of all-time leading jockeys in the history of Thoroughbred racing.
Ouzts guided My Birthday Gal to victory in the second race of the night to achieve the milestone. Ouzts rallied from the back of the pack aboard the four-year-old daughter of Holy Bull to win the claiming event by one-half length during the six furlong race. Trained by Susan Anderson, My Birthday Gal paid $13.00, $5.20 and $3.20 across the board as a surprise to bettors.
The win put Ouzts one past Eddie Delahoussaye, who earned 6,384 wins during his career. To date, Ouzts has ridden in 46,879 races to get to 6,385 wins with purse earnings in excess of $39 million.
A native of Rivervale, Ark., Ouzts was more than willing to learn the trade of riding horses from his cousin Earlie Fires, a member of the Hall of Fame, after graduation from high school. His small stature made him a perfect candidate for the job. He earned his first win at Beulah Park in 1973 aboard Rablue and 6,384 wins later, he continues to make history.
“Earlie (Fires) had already been riding for about 10 years when I started,” said Ouzts. “He said he would teach me how to be a jockey, and he did. He taught me to break out of the gate, to switch sticks and how to really get after a horse. The first time I ever rode against him was in a stakes race at River Downs and I beat him. I won and he finished second. That continues to be one of the proudest moments of my career.”
Ouzts has accumulated most of his career wins at River Downs, which now runs under the name of Belterra Park. In all, he has won 30 leading rider titles at the facility. Ouzts has also won 13 leading rider titles at Beulah Park and one at Turfway Park. His biggest win to date was recorded at River Downs in the $200,000 Cradle Stakes aboard Old Man Buck.
At the age of 60, Ouzts has a “bucket list” and has no plans of retiring from his day job. He is only four wins back of passing Larry Snyder to move into 13th place all-time and is only about 65 wins away from passing Sandy Hawley, who is in 12th place with 6,450 career wins.
“I only need four more wins to pass Larry Snyder to be in 13th place and I hope to be able to do that by the end of this year,” said Ouzts. “Then, next year, I’ll start working on moving up to 12th place (Sandy Hawley) and then 11th place, which will be the big one. Earlie (Fires) holds down that spot with 6,470 wins. If I can break that, then there will be a lot of trash talking back home in Arkansas.”
Ouzts recently marked another item off his “bucket list.” He and his wife, Toni, went to California for vacation to visit his wife’s sister. While there, he wanted to go out to Santa Anita. He was able to take his trip one step further by securing a mount at the prestigious location.
“Tom Proctor gave me a mount and it was not only just a race, he put me up in a $100,000 Grade III race,” said Ouzts. “The horse didn’t do any good, but it was a great experience to get to ride at Santa Anita. Everyone was so nice.”
Ouzts followed up his race with an interview on HRTV. It’s not too often that a jockey who has won over 6,000 races, is available and HRTV’s Peter Lurie seized the opportunity to get the veteran rider on the show.
Ouzts is preparing to move his tack to Churchill Downs for the month of November in anticipation of the upcoming Turfway Park meet. He and Toni, who have been married for 30 years, have two sons, Kyle and Tyler, both of which are not in the horse racing industry.
“Both of my boys aren’t involved in racing because both of them are six feet tall,” noted Ouzts.
Source: Indiana Grand


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