Cordero Becomes Fourth Jockey to Win 6,000
Angel Cordero Jr. became the fourth jockey in history to win 6,000 races Tuesday when he rode Lost Kitty to victory in the ninth race at Monmouth Park.
Cordero, who had been mired in a slump with just five winners in his last 54 races before winning twice Tuesday, said he was relieved to reach the milestone.
“Finally, I got it over with,” he said. “This has taken a long time. I knew it would happen. I just didn’t know when.”
Cordero, 44, joins Bill Shoemaker, Johnny Longden and Laffit Pincay as the only jockeys to win 6,000 races. Shoemaker, who is still riding, leads the all-time list with nearly 8,700 wins.
Cordero had hoped to reach the 6,000 plateau last year, but a spill at Aqueduct in March sidelined him for more than four months. He suffered a broken leg and a lacerated liver but bounced back to win an 11th straight riding title at Saratoga.
Cordero, whose first victory came at Puerto Rico’s El Comandante race track in 1960, has won more than $115 million in purses during his career, third on the all-time list behind Pincay and Shoemaker.
He has won the Kentucky Derby three times,, the Preakness Stakes twice and the Belmont Stakes once. Cordero also was the first jockey to sweep the Fall Championship Series sponsored by the New York Racing Assn., winning the Woodward, Marlboro Cup and Jockey Club Gold Cup in 1984 aboard Slew o’ Gold.
Cordero was inducted into Puerto Rico’s Racing Hall of Fame in 1985, but won’t be eligible for the U.S. Hall of Fame at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., until five years after his retirement.