11/07/2007 1:00AM

Mario Pino rides 6,000th winner

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Jockey Mario Pino gets hoisted on the shoulders of jockey Ryan Fogelsonger and valet Daniel Orellena after winning his 6,000th race Wednesday at Laurel Park.
Mario Pino became the 15th jockey in North America to reach 6,000 wins when he guided Pass Play to victory in Wednesday's seventh race at Laurel Park.

Appropriately, Pino, recorded No. 6,000 on Pass Play ($8.80), a 6-year-old gelding trained by his brother, Mike, who recorded the 1,000th win of his career last Sunday at Delaware Park.

Pino, 46, had gotten to within one win of the milestone when he won Wednesday's first race on the 2-year-old filly Golden Shades ($4.40).

Pino rode his first winner on Jan. 16, 1979 at Bowie Race Course in Maryland and recorded his 5,000th victory on his 41st birthday, Sept. 8, 2002, at Delaware Park.

Pino was the runner-up in Eclipse Award balloting for leading apprentice in 1979 and was a finalist for the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, given to the rider whose career and personal character reflect positively on the sport, in 2003 and 2006.

He was the leading rider at Delaware in 1979 and 1980, and ranked in the top five among Maryland jockeys every year from 1979 to 2003, finishing as the leading rider in 1999 and 2002. Pino holds the record for most victories on the Maryland circuit with 4,827, including 2,641 at Laurel.

Aside from Pino, the 14 jockeys with 6,000 or more career victories in North America are Russell Baze, Laffit Pincay Jr., Bill Shoemaker, Pat Day, David Gall, Chris McCarron, Angel Cordero Jr., Jorge Velasquez, Sandy Hawley, Earlie Fires, Larry Synder, Eddie Delahoussaye, Carl Gambardella, and Johnny Longden.