The triumvirate of jockey Perry Ouzts, trainer Joe Woodard and owners Billy, Donna and Justin Hays ran away with their respective titles during the 93-day, 2012 meet at River Downs which concluded on Labor Day.
Ouzts, who at 58 years of age, was recording his 24th riding championship at the track. From 522 starts he compiled a record of 133-110-85 with his mounts earning $647,830. The highlight of the summer for Ouzts came on June 17 when, in the quick gate breaking style that has earned him the nickname "Scoot 'N Boot," he broke on top and never looked back to take the 5th race aboard Lucky Dan. In doing so he scored victory number 5,894 and passed Hall of Fame rider Jerry Bailey to become the 17th leading rider in the history of thoroughbred racing. On May 9, Ouzts made the front page of the Cincinnati Enquirer for a different kind of riding prowess. Driving back from the morning workouts on his Harley-Davidson on I-275, he was struck by a car and slid across two lanes of traffic going into his instinctive "jockey tuck." With his exercise flak jacket, leather chaps and protective helmet on, he came out of the incident relatively unscathed. To prove the point he returned to the track only hours later to capture both halves of the Daily Double.
The majority of Ouzts' victories came for conditioner Joe Woodard, who was recording his seventh consecutive trainers' title at River Downs. His horses won at a remarkable 36% rate which is most impressive combined with the fact he sent out 121 starters. With a record of 44-29-13 his horses finished in the money 71% of the time.
Woodard trains almost exclusively for Billy, Donna and Justin Hays, who came away with their seventh straight owner's title. Their familiar Lime Green and Black color bearers won 41 races for a 40% win mark.
Trainer Monica Krummen sent out the Horse of the Meet. Her Nanita Blue won all but one of her seven summer starts.
River Downs continues to offer simulcast racing at their RaceBook. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. daily with free admission and parking.