11/30/2012 10:27AM

Turfway Park: Ouzts passes John Longden on all-time win list


Perry Ouzts achieved another riding milestone on the Thursday night opener at Turfway Park when passing Johnny Longden and taking 16th place on the all-time wins list by riding two winners, giving him 6,033 in his 39-year career.

Ouzts won the fourth race aboard Sok Sok and the ninth on Wonka. Both horses are trained by Susan Anderson.

Ouzts, 58, is a native of Riverdale, Ark., where he grew up alongside his cousins, the Fires family, which includes Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires. He rode his first winner at Beulah Park in 1973 and has been a perennial leader at River Downs in Cincinnati for decades.

Longden, who died on his 96th birthday on Feb. 14, 2003, still holds a couple of lasting distinctions. He was the all-time wins leader before being passed by the legendary Bill Shoemaker in September 1970, and he is still the only person ever to ride (Count Fleet, 1943) and train (Majestic Prince, 1969) a Kentucky Derby winner.

The 15th jockey on the all-time wins list is Carl Gambardella with 6,349.

Thursday kicked off four months of winter racing at Turfway in Florence, Ky., where Ouzts has been a regular for many years.