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Jockey Stewart Elliott Accomplishes 5,000th Win

Elliott best known as jockey of Kentucky Derby (G1) hero Smarty Jones.

Stewart Elliott at Churchill Downs

Stewart Elliott at Churchill Downs

Coady Photography

Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning jockey Stewart Elliott accomplished his 5,000th win Aug. 9 at Lone Star Park, where the 55-year-old guided Bloom Racing Stable's Power End to a half-length victory in a five-furlong turf allowance for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Elliott is the 36th rider to pull off the feat of 5,000 wins in North America. 

"Wow, that makes me feel pretty good," he said during the week prior to the major milestone. "…It makes me realize that I've had a pretty good career and been fortunate to do well most of it."

Elliott is best known for his success aboard Someday Farm's Smarty Jones in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (G1). The pair fell a length short to Birdstone  in the Belmont Stakes (G1), the only loss in Smarty Jones' nine-race career. Elliott was aboard for every start.

"I think it was a pretty good run, you know, for a horse that we thought we didn't even know if he would go long," Elliott said of the Pennsylvania-bred that was trained by John Servis.

Elliott, a native of Toronto who began his career in 1981, was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2017 he won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, which honors riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing. Santa Anita Park has presented the annual award since 1950.

"To me, that was a big honor because it comes from my peers," Elliott said of receiving the Woolf Award.

Through Sunday, Elliott has ridden in 32,188 races and has a record of 5,000-4,331-4,003. His mounts have earned $106,217,627. The rider has no thoughts of hanging up his tack anytime soon.

"I mean, really why would I quit right now? As long as things are going like this and I feel good and I feel like I can still perform and business is good," he said, "I'll keep going until things change."