This week has seen its share of milestone victories. Jockey Scott Spieth achieved his own milestone on Friday, winning his 4,000th race at Tampa Bay Downs.
Spieth joins jockey Joe Talamo who celebrated his 1,000th victory yesterday at Santa Anita, as well as trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who saddled his 2,000th winner on Friday at Gulfstream Park.
The 45-year-old Spieth, a consummate professional, eloquently put into words how he felt following his 5 ¼-length victory aboard Reid Nagle’s 4-year-old filly Ula in the seventh race, a $20,500 maiden special weight at five furlongs for fillies and mares.
“It really makes me feel good because I have a lot of friends in the jock’s room, and everybody in there knows how much of a grind it is and how hard it is to get to your goals,” Spieth said.
“Fortunately things have gone well for me, but it means a lot that all the riders are here for me. I also have to thank all the trainers who have stayed behind me and thank my family, because there is a lot of dedication required in this business.”
Spieth rode three winners on Friday’s card, his second consecutive three-victory performance at the Oldsmar, Florida track.
“Getting to 4,000 really wasn’t weighing on me at all,” Spieth said. “The only one I really celebrated was my 3,000th. My ultimate goal is to get over 5,000. Down here, the racing is so competitive I didn’t know when I would get to 4,000. It might have been next week.”
Spieth and his wife Rhonda Swan Spieth, also a jockey, have three daughters and two sons. Kirsten Swan, Scott’s stepdaughter and another jockey, currently works in Lexington. The Spieths reside on a 13-acre spread in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Tampa Bay Downs contributed to this report.
Scott Speith returning to the winner’s circle aboard Ula/Tom Cooley photo