08/10/2011 12:32PM

Ellis Park: Mark Guidry to resume riding career after four-year retirement

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Mark Guidry will end his self-imposed retirement of nearly four years by returning to riding on Saturday at Ellis Park in western Kentucky and then continuing indefinitely on the Kentucky circuit.

Guidry, 52, was among the five retired jockeys scheduled to compete Friday in the fifth race on the Arlington Million eve card at Arlington Park near Chicago. He will resume his career the following day at Ellis, for which entries for Saturday were to be drawn Thursday.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Guidry. “I’m ready to get things kicked off and see what happens.”

Guidry, a native of Lafayette, La., has ridden more than 5,000 winners in a 34-year career in which he won such major races as the Kentucky Oaks, Santa Anita Derby, and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup while reigning for many years as the top jockey on the Chicago circuit. He was voted the George Woolf Memorial Award in 2006.

Guidry attended the stewards’ school at the University of Louisville after retiring but turned to training on the Louisiana circuit instead of becoming a racing official. He has been working as an assistant and exercise rider for Dale Romans at Churchill Downs since shortly after disbanding his stable in May. Guidry trained for about three years and won with 30 of 301 starters.

Guidry said his reasons for returning to the saddle involved “a combination of things,” including finances and an itch to get back to doing what he loves.

“I’m feeling good, working a lot of horses,” he said. “Physically I’m doing great, and mentally I’m in a good spot, too. We’ll play it by ear and see how things go.”

Terry “Jaws” Miller will be his agent at least until Ellis ends Sept. 5.