Jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. tied Bill Shoemaker's record of 8,833 victories yesterday at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif, winning by a head aboard I Be Casual in the fourth race.
Pincay finished out of money in his last three races. He has five scheduled mounts today.
"I just tied the record of the greatest rider who ever lived," Pincay, 52, told a cheering crowd in the grandstand. Shouts of "Shoe" and "Pinky" rang throughout the stands. Shoemaker, 68, was on hand to see the record he has owned since 1970.
"I want to congratulate Laffit," said Shoemaker, who has used a wheelchair since a 1991 car accident. "He's gotten to the top of the mountain, but he needs one more to be there alone. I'm rooting for him. Go get 'em, Laffit."
Before Shoemaker, the record belonged to Johnny Longden, who took it from Englishman Gordon Richards in 1956. Almost 90, Longden has been following Pincay's pursuit from his California home.
Pincay's 35-year career includes election to racing's Hall of Fame, a record five Eclipse Awards as the nation's top jockey, a Kentucky Derby victory, three Belmont Stakes wins and mounts on such great horses as Affirmed.