08/10/2005 12:00AM

Jockey, 69, rides winner


Jockey Frank Amonte Sr., 26 days shy of his 70th birthday, rode Evas Boy to victory in the fifth race at Suffolk Downs on Wednesday, becoming the oldest jockey to ever win a race in the United States.

Amonte broke the record of Willie Clark, who also was 69 when he rode two winners at Charles Town in 1991, but who retired more than four months before he turned 70.

Amonte, who rode his first race at Fair Grounds in 1951, is also the trainer of Evas Boy, who won the maiden claiming race Wednesday by 8 3/4 lengths, paying $14.

"My wife, Ligia, takes very good care of me," said Amonte when asked how he manages to stay in shape. "She's the secret to most of it. We've been married for 38 years."

Amonte plans to ride at the Northampton Fair in September in Massachusetts, when he will have the opportunity to become the first U.S. jockey to win a race at age 70.