05/31/2001 12:00AM

Ouzts reaches 4,000 win tally


Jockey Perry Ouzts became the 39th rider to reach the 4,000-win plateau when he guided Lil Pike to victory in Thursday's eighth race at River Downs. In typical Ouzts fashion, Lil Pike was sent to the lead at the start and never looked back in the 4 1/2-furlong claiming event.

Ouzts, 46, has won numerous riding titles at River Downs and Beulah Park. He has won nearly two dozen stakes at River Downs, where he began riding at the age of 18 in 1973, including three consecutive Myrtlewood Handicaps aboard Hy Carol in the late 1970's Ouzts, a native of Riverdale, Ark., is a cousin of recent Hall of Fame inductee Earlie Fires, with whom he grew up riding. Ouzts's mounts have earned over $21.1 million.