Jockey Cliff Berry, who is no stranger to the Lone Star Park winner’s circle with more than 1,000 victories at the Grand Prairie track, won three races on Sunday and secured a second place finish in the rider standings for the 2015 Thoroughbred season. Those three wins made it nine total for the week and helped him win the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for July 13th – July 19th. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
Berry’s hot riding was somewhat overshadowed by an important personal announcement: The 52-year-old journeyman plans to retire at the end of the year after the Fall Thoroughbred season at Remington Park.
Berry is the all-time leader in wins at Lone Star Park with 1,072 since the Grand Prairie track opened for its inaugural season in 1997. The 52-year-old rider booted home a gelding trained by Bret Calhoun, in a runaway win in the first race. Berry then followed with victories in the fourth and fifth races.
“I’ve had a lot of good horses and trainers over the years,” Berry said. “That’s how you win. “I will miss it. It’s all I’ve ever known.”
Back in 2011 after winning five races the previous evening, Berry managed to top himself at Remington Park on the night of December 10th when he won all seven races in which he had mounts. That feat has on been accomplished by three other riders in the modern era.
Berry has made 27,625 starts since beginning as a 17-year-old in 1979 and has won 4,408 of those mounts. Among them was a victory atop Going Ballistic in the $500,000 Super Derby in 2007 at Louisiana Downs. Most recently, he guided Promise Me Silver to victory in the Instant Racing Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Berry finished the week with nine wins, one second, four thirds, and earnings of $97,697 from 19 mounts.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, the Jockeys’ Guild, the Paulick Report, the Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.