11/24/2012 5:56PM

Hawthorne: Martinez rides his 2,000th winner


Jockey Seth Martinez won the 2,000th race of his career when he rode longshot Mission Storm to victory in the fifth race Saturday at Hawthorne.

Martinez, 33, is the son of a trainer and began riding at age 16 in Arizona. As an apprentice he moved his tack to Maryland before carving out a deeper niche at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. At Canterbury, Martinez rode 458 of his 2000 winners. Martinez began riding on the Chicago circuit in 2011 and has become of the steadiest riders both at Arlington and Hawthorne.

Martinez, who for years has worked hard to maintain his riding weight, is known as one of the most skilled and fearless riders in Chicago, often squeezing his mounts through narrow holes that jockeys less bold would avoid.