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Jockey Joe Crispin ties mark for wins in one day

December 1, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

(photo by Portland Meadows)
By Patrick Kerrison
Portland, OR – Jockey Joe Crispin has been nothing short of spectacular since his return to racing this past summer and on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at Portland Meadows the 46-year-old rider tied an amazing record for the track– winning seven races in one day.

“This is awesome, it is just awesome,” an elated Crispin said.

Crispin began his record tying afternoon riding Debra Occhiuto’s My Pal Pete to victory in the opener.

In the second race, he hit for the double, along with trainer Jim Fergason, aboard the Dean Honrath and Just Horsen Around Stable’s Inappropriate.

Trainer Jim Fergason gave Crispin a leg up on his third race mount, Spinning Slow, for owners David T. Green and the Just Horsen Around Stable. That gave each of them, Crispin and Fergason, a triple on the card.

Crispin didn’t have a scheduled mount in race four, but in the absence of rider Juan Gutierrez, who was called away, he picked up Dig That Rhythm for trainer Nick Lowe and led him to victory.

Race five saw Crispin win for trainer – you guessed it – Jim Fergason aboard the Sharon and Michael Malarkey charge, Irish Tribute.

In race six, horseplayers knew who to lean on when Crispin got the call aboard the David Duke owned/trained gelding, Lean on Pete, for victory number six.

Blanked in race seven, Crispin continued his winning ways in race eight aboard the Jonathan Nance and Allen Floyd horse, Chickenpotpie. Chickenpotpie gave Crispin his record-tying seventh victory on the card.

Crispin first set the mark on December 4, 1998, along with rider Felipe Valdez, for most wins on one race card.

Without a ride in race nine, Crispin had one more shot at setting the Portland Meadows mark and holding it to himself, as well as tying half a dozen other riders who have won eight on one race card at other venues.

Aboard the Bill Stiles’ owned and Robbie Baze trained Classy Coed, Crispin broke from the inside as the public’s 2/5 choice and they chased the pacesetter No Fences. At the head of the lane Crispin and Classy Coed fought the proverbial good fight, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

“It’s all good,” Crispin said. “Seven wins in one day is still a pretty good day in my book,” he said with a huge smile.

Crispin returned to riding this past June on the Oregon fair bush meets after a two year hiatus imposed by the Oregon Racing Commission due to a recurring battle with drugs and alcohol.

According to a feature article in the November issue of Portland Monthly Magazine which offers a detailed illustration of the demons Crispin fought from youth through his 46th year, the rider is the only one of nine ever to have their license stripped by the ORC and ultimately have it reinstated.

“I have been blessed with another chance, a great family in my beautiful wife and daughter, a supportive group of friends who’ve been where I have been, and owners, trainers and an agent who believe in me because I believe in myself again. I am grateful to all of them. I don’t know what else to say. I am just having fun and I thank God everyday for every one of my life’s blessings.”

As Portland Meadows celebrates its 60th year in racing, Crispin entered the meet as the winningest active rider at the Delta Park oval with 575 wins. Beginning with this weekend’s three-day set, Crispin had 46 victories with riders Clark Jones and Juan Gutierrez tied for second place – 28 wins shy of the leader - with 18.

Crispin won two races on Sunday, three on Monday and seven on Tuesday, giving him a total of 58 wins thru 24 race days and 633 overall.

That’s a pretty good day – and meet - in anyone’s book.