Jockey Cliff Berry rode his 4,000th Thoroughbred winner Saturday night at Remington Park to become the 65th jockey in North America to accomplish the riding feat. The win came aboard Brown Okie, who was the 4-5 favorite in the third race.
Berry, a 50-year-old native of Joplin, Mo., has resided in Jones, Okla., for more than 20 years and has won the Remington Park leading jockey title on 14 occasions. Nearly half of Cliff Berry’s wins have come in Oklahoma City, as he has recorded 1,923 Thoroughbred wins at Remington Park since the track opened in 1988.
Berry also is the all-time leading rider at Remington Park, winning his first Remington riding title with the1996 spring meeting; he then won the title again in 1998, 1999, 2000 fall/winter, 2001 fall/winter, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 and last year’ 2011 meet with 68 wins.
“I felt the pressure in the gate; I guess it was because I knew this one could be the one. It felt like I was riding in a million-dollar race,” said Berry. “I’m amazed that I could go this far. I’ve been lucky and never have been hurt too bad. I didn’t do too well in the early days so I want to thank all those who stuck behind me. I guess you might say I’m a slow learner.”
In 2011 Berry was inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He is also the all-time leading rider at Lone Star Park and won the riding title at Oaklawn Park in 2011 and 2012. He is credited with his first career win June 3, 1981, at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, Louisiana.