- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Cliff Berry has been aboard more winners than any other jockey in Remington Park history.

With 4,409 career wins, including 2,078 of them just at Remington Park, and more than $65.5 million in career earnings, the Jones jockey is about ready to dismount for good, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1NaXGiJ ) reported.

Berry, 52, will retire at the end of Remington Park’s thoroughbred season this year, which starts this month and runs through Dec. 13.

Remington Park will pay tribute to its all-time leading thoroughbred jockey during the season with a series of racing promotions capped off by Cliff Berry Night on Dec. 12.

In honor of his career, Remington Park will reward fans with cash or prizes for all wins posted by Berry this season.

Berry is the only jockey left riding at Remington Park who was there when it opened in 1988. For the first few years, Berry also rode quarter horses at Remington Park but decided in 1994 to focus only on thoroughbreds.

Since then, Berry has been the season’s leading jockey at Remington Park 15 times. Twice, Berry won the Oklahoma Derby. He won in 2003 on Comic Truth and in 2006 aboard Mr Pursuit.

Berry, who was inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame four years ago, has ridden for just about everyone in his career. He never limited himself to just one or two trainers’ barns.

Joe Offolter and Clinton Stuart, both longtime trainers at Remington Park, said Berry’s work ethic set him apart from other jockeys.

“Every day, he was there working (at the racetrack),” Offolter said. “Every time you put him on a horse, you knew you were going to get his best. He is going to give you everything he has got. That has just always been his trademark.”

Berry has been aboard winners many times for both trainers. But both said Berry never cared whether he was racing for big stakes or not.

“It’s didn’t matter to him,” Stuart said. “He just wanted to win.”

Stuart said Berry told him that he wanted to retire while still on top.

“He didn’t want to end up like some riders that we see, riding two or three a week and just getting by,” Stuart said. “He wanted pretty much to bow out when he was still doing well.”

Stuart said Berry could have been successful at major racetracks in the country such as Churchill Downs and Arlington Park, but he wanted to race primarily at Remington Park so he could be near his family in Oklahoma.

“The sky was the limit but he stayed right close to home,” Stuart said. “That was his No. 1 priority. He’s competed against some the best and won.

“We went to Arlington Park and he won for me. He went to several different places and won. If he had stayed there and put his time in there, he could have been at any one of them.”

Stuart said it will be strange next year not to see Berry in the silks at Remington Park.

“It will be really different,” he said. ‘It won’t really be the same.”


Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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