Jockey Robby Albarado joined an elite group on Sunday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots when earning his 5,000th career victory. The 43-year-old Lafayette, Louisiana, native became only the 33rd rider to reach the milestone when guiding Oak Tree Stables’ Scott Gelner-trained Vivacious V. V. to victory in the day’s first race.
Albarado began riding professionally at age 16 in June of 1990 and has ridden the likes of top horses Not This Time, Captain Steve, Orientate, Court Vision, Stellar Jayne, Banshee Breeze and – of course – two Horses of the Year in Mineshaft and Curlin. He is also the seventh-leading active jockey in earnings, with his mounts earning in excess of $205 million. In that category, he is 13th all-time.
“It’s amazing. I feel like it’s a combination of owners and trainers, family and friends’ support to get to this point – I didn’t do it alone,” Albarado said. “It’s fitting to get it here where I started out. I won three races the whole winter my first meet here. I stuck it out and now I’m here on 5,000 wins. It’s pretty special to do it here at Fair Grounds.”
A father of four who is married to Paige Albarado of Fair Grounds Horsemen’s Relations, Albarado has won 201 graded stakes, including 35 Grade I events. His top victories have been the Grade I Preakness Stakes and Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Curlin in 2007, as well as the Group I Dubai World Cup aboard that that two-time Horse of the Year the following season. Additionally, Albarado has hit the board in the Grade I Kentucky Derby three times (2006, 2007 and 2013) and Grade I Belmont Stakes three times (2007, 2008 and 2014).