01/22/2017 4:23PM

Albarado achieves 5,000th career-win milestone

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Lou Hodges Jr.
Jockey Robby Albarado rides Vivacious V.V. to his 5,000th career win on Sunday.

NEW ORLEANS – Robby Albarado rode the 5,000th winner of his career when he guided Vivacious V.V. to victory in the first race at Fair Grounds on Sunday.

Albarado had nearly reached the milestone when he scored win number 4,999 in the Lecomte Stakes here Saturday for his old patrons, trainer Neil Howard and owner Will Farish, for whom he rode Mineshaft, Horse of the Year in 2003.

“This is not an individual feat,” Albarado said. “I didn’t do it alone.”

Albarado, 43, was born in Lafayette, La., and begin riding bush-track races as a teenager. His first mount at a sanctioned meet came in 1990, when he rode 15 winners at Evangeline Downs before coming to Fair Grounds that winter. Albarado won three races from 131 starters that meet, but went on to capture seven Fair Grounds riding titles, and is in the track’s Hall of Fame.,

“It’s fitting I did it in New Orleans. This is where I started out,” Albarado said.

Albarado became the 33rd North American-based jockey to win as many as 5,000 races. Russell Baze holds the career mark for wins with 12,842. Edgar Prado is the leader by wins among active riders with 6,933.