Jockey Mark Guidry registers 5,000th win

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY (TICKER) —Jockey Mark Guidry registered his 5,000th career victory Friday at Churchill Downs.

Guidry reached his milestone aboard Briland Farm’s Chippewa Trail. The six-year-old gelding led most of the way, but was passed in the stretch by Copy My Notes. Guidry’s mount rallied to reclaim the lead and win by a half-length.

Chippewa Trail, trained by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, covered one mile over a sloppy track in 1 minute and 36.46 seconds.

“Five thousand is a huge milestone,” said Guidry, who plans to retired from riding in early August. “I’m sure they’re going to have other riders that will get to that milestone, as well. But, as of today, to be up there with the all-time leading riders is great. I’m very blessed to be here.”

With the victory, Guidry becomes the 21st jockey in the United States to reach the 5,000 victory mark.

The 47-year-old Guidry said he was thinking about the milestone as Chippewa Trail cruised to an early 1 1/2-length lead.

“Turning for home, I was thinking about it and Calvin (Borel on Copy My Notes) went by me, I thought ‘Oh, man,’” Guidry said. “He went at least three-quarters of a length in front of me almost a length. Then I seen this horse (Copy My Notes) coming back a little bit and my horse kind of stayed, and I said, ‘Come on, that’s good, that’s good.’ It was a good feeling.”

Guidry acknowledged that his bid for 5,000 career victories had moved slowly in recent weeks following the public announcement of his plans to retire, but the achievement was worth the wait.

“The last couple of months I’ve been kind of dwindling down a little bit because everybody knows that basically I’m retiring in August, which is cool with me,” Guidry said. “It was frustrating. I thought I’d never win another race, to be honest with you.”

Guidry will ride Imawildandcrazyguy in Saturday’s 133rd running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby, his fifth mount in the famed “Run for the Roses.” But Guidry said that his plans to retire from the saddle remain firm.

“I’m just tired,” said Guidry. “I think there comes a time in all athletes’ lives when they realize that it’s time to go on and do something else. I’d like to become a steward, that’s my goal. So, hopefully, it all works out.”

Guidry earned one riding title at Churchill Downs when he tied with Rafael Bejarano for the 2005 Fall Meet riding title.

Updated Friday, May 4, 2007