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Jockey Ry Eikleberry Earns 1,000th Win
RSS Feeds Tuesday, November 20, 2012
When Michael S. Goldman's One Fine Jewel won the 11th race at Zia Park on Monday, the Desert God gelding gave Ry Eikleberry the jockey's 1,000th career victory.

“It's something that I can look back at and be proud of,” said Eikleberry, a 23-year-old fourth-generation horseman who began his career in 2005 at the age of 16. “There are always those riders who you look up to, and you don't feel you're to their level. I remember last year for the first time somebody called me a veteran. I'm kind of getting to that point where I'm more respected.”

Eikleberry is the first jockey from a family of trainers. His great-grandfather Guy trained from 1976-86 and his grandfather Calvin trained from 1976-99. His father, Kevin, has saddled the winners of more than 800 races since he began his training career in 1979.

Kevin Eikleberry is currently based at Turf Paradise, but he was on hand at Zia Park to watch his son go for his 1,000-win milestone. The first horse Ry rode in a race, Skyline Gal, was trained by his father. The Skywalker filly rallied to finish third in a 6-furlong allowance race at Arapahoe Park on June 12, 2005.

“I’ll be honest in that I rode him a little before he was ready, but I didn’t know how long he would make it because he is tall,” said Kevin of his 5-foot, 9-inch son.

“I was kind of down, because everyone I ever talked to said, 'You'll never make it – you might ride a few races, but you're going to be too big,'” recalled Ry.

Eikleberry earned his first win as a jockey aboard Chopin’s Crescendo, also trained by his father, in a 5 1/2-furlong claiming race at Arapahoe Park on July 8, 2005.

“He was the one who stuck by my side,” said Ry about his father. “It’s so hard to break in, but I had my dad to help me get on a few live horses and then catch people’s attention to give me a shot.”

In addition to his parents’ support, Eikleberry credits his wife, Jilique, whom he met at Canterbury Park in Minnesota in 2007 and married last August. A native of Phoenix, he won three consecutive jockey titles at Turf Paradise from 2009-11, until he moved his tack to ride full time in New Mexico.

In The News

Wednesday, November 23, 2016
New Mexico-breds Astica and Happy Hennessy both scored impressive victories on Wednesday’s $1.28-million Land of Enchantment Day program at Zia Park.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Two stakes for New Mexico-breds -- one for Thoroughbreds and one for Quarter Horses -- will be featured on Wednesday’s rich Land of Enchantment Day program at Zia Park.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
The New Mexico Racing Commission held its monthly meeting at the its conference room in Albuquerque on Thursday, November 10.
Monday, November 07, 2016
Sunland Park has released its stakes schedule for its 2016-17 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet, which opens on December 16.




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