BALTIMORE, MAY 29 -- Pimlico jockey Jeff Lloyd is expected to ride his 3,000th winner this summer, but most Marylanders won't be around to see it.
Lloyd, the Maryland circuit's eighth-ranked rider, said he's returning to Pennsylvania after three years here. He will begin Sunday at Philadelphia Park, where he had been the leading rider before trying Maryland's richer and more competitive market.
Lloyd, 33, said several factors influenced his latest decision. In large part, he's grown tired of riding long shots, and figures he can earn as much at Philadelphia Park and Garden State as he can at Pimlico and Laurel because he'll ride more winners.
"We've been toying with this the last three months," he said. "I'd like to stay here two or three more years, but . . . my wife likes it better up there, and she sees the stress this place puts on me. I'm the type of individual who's got to keep winning. Up there, there really wasn't much stress. If you didn't win this race, you'd have a good shot to win the next. There's more of an even keel."
Lloyd drew no closer to the 3,000 mark with his five mounts today, leaving him with 2,979 winners. (Only about 50 riders have won 3,000 races.) He's 23 for 263 this meet.
Known for his gregarious ways and serious work ethic, Lloyd has ridden primarily for trainer Spencer Bumgardner, who said he plans to use a variety of jockeys now.
"I hate to see him go," Bumgardner said. "With Jeff, I never had to worry. When I put him on a horse, I knew I'd always get an honest ride because he gives it everything he has. The bad thing now is that I'm going to have agents calling me at all hours of the night."