The $250,000 Springboard Mile, the top 2-year-old race of the season, headlines the final weekend of Remington Park’s 2015 Thoroughbred Season. Sharing the billing is retiring jockey Cliff Berry, who will use the Springboard Mile as his final Remington Park race as he caps a brilliant career in Oklahoma City.
Remington Park and the horse racing community will honor the retiring jockey with “Cliff Berry Night” on Saturday, Dec. 12. The evening will include a series of presentations throughout the race card and cash prize drawings for fans who have entered.
Berry will stay busy during his final three days at Remington Park. He has been named to ride five races on Friday, Dec. 11; three races on Saturday, Dec. 12 and five races on Springboard Mile Day, Sunday, Dec. 13.
Berry, 53, of Jones, Okla., has determined this Remington Park season will be his final in the saddle. The all-time leading Thoroughbred rider in Oklahoma City has 2,124 local wins heading to his final three days of competition. Berry will put the finish on a career that has included 4,456 wins through Dec. 7 and total mount earnings of more than $67.3 million.
The 4,456 career wins places Berry 44th on the all-time list of jockeys. His career mount earnings of $67.3 million rank him 84th all-time.
A model of consistency, Berry has won at least 121 races each year since 1995 (21 consecutive years) with the most wins in a year taking place in 2005 when he won 240. He has achieved total mount earnings of at least $1.1 million every year since 1995 (21 consecutive years) with a high-point of $4,759,049 in 2006.
Berry started his riding career in 1981. He has been the season’s leading jockey at Remington Park 15 times while also winning titles as leading rider at other venues such as Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. and Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas where he is also that track’s all-time leading jockey by wins.
The final season of Remington Park racing has seen Berry stay in the top five of the jockey standings, while not riding nearly as many horses as used to be his norm. Going into the final weekend of the season, Berry has 46 wins from 259 mounts with 53 second-place finishes and another 42 efforts for third. He has won 18% of his races and has finished in the top three in 54% of his starts. He has accumulated over $1.6 million in mount earnings during this season.
Among the final Remington Park season highlights for Berry are his wins aboard Shotgun Kowboy including the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 27 and the Oklahoma Classics Cup on Oct. 16. The derby win on Shotgun Kowboy was his third in the richest Thoroughbred race in Oklahoma. He also won the Oklahoma Derby with Comic Truth (2003) and Mr. Pursuit (2006).
Here is a brief look at Cliff Berry’s Thoroughbred career at Remington Park:
Total Remington Park wins: 2,124 (thru Dec. 5, 2015)
1st race: Inaugural Handicap (Sept. 1, 1988) on One For Anie, finishing 10th
1st win: Ye Whiz (Sept. 7, 1988)
1st stakes win: Northern Grain (Nov. 9, 1991) in the Oklahoma Breeders’ Handicap
Oklahoma Derby Wins: 3 (tied for most all-time with Garrett Gomez)
Oklahoma Classics Wins: 26, most all-time
Springboard Mile Wins: 3, most all-time
Remington Park Season Titles: 15, most all-time
Most Wins in a Single Program at Remington Park: 7, a track record (Dec. 10, 2010)
The astounding seven-win night for Berry in 2010 was a perfect evening of racing as he won all seven of the races in which he competed. He even picked up a mount as he originally was only scheduled to ride six races that night.
The final weekend of the 2015 Thoroughbred Season takes place Friday thru Sunday, Dec. 11-13.