11/07/2011 6:11PM

Aqueduct: Samyn retires from race-riding, becomes agent

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Jean-Luc Samyn began riding in New York in 1976 and has more than 2,600 winners to his credit.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Jockey Jean-Luc Samyn, who turned 55 on Sunday, retired from race-riding and will become a jockey agent for Filiberto Leon.

"It is the right thing to do," Samyn told the New York Racing Association's press department. "I had said that if I was able to walk away when I was 55 that was the time to do it."

Samyn, who began riding in New York in 1976, rode 2,613 winners in his career and his horses earned $94,135,156 in purses. He considers the highlight of his career the day he won two Grade 1 races at Belmont in 2000, the Turf Classic Invitational on John's Call, and the Flower Bowl Invitational on Colstar. He came back the following day to win the Grade 2 Kelso on Forbidden Apple.

After suffering the loss of two fingers on his right hand in a snow blower accident earlier this year, Samyn curtailed his riding considerably and compiled a mark of 4-5-6 from 81 starters in 2011.

"It's very exciting to move on," Samyn said. "Filiberto and I have been making the rounds and have gotten good feedback. He's looking to work hard, and so am I."