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Jon Court, Oaklawn's leading rider in 2000, recorded his 650th victory in Hot Springs in Thursday's ninth race, according to Equibase, racing's official data gathering organization.

Court guided Ninth Hour to a 4 ½-length victory for his father-in-law, trainer Jinks Fires, of Hot Springs. Court, 57, is off to a strong start at the meet, with eight victories to tie for fourth in the standings.

"I don't feel 57," Court said. "If I knew 50's were so good, I would have made an effort to get here sooner. I'm having so much fun."

Court began riding professionally in 1980 and was Oaklawn's leading apprentice in 1981, his first season in Hot Springs. His mounts at Oaklawn have earned $16,977,344 in purses.

Overall, Court has 4,096 victories and $103,104,863 in purse earnings, figures that rank 67th and 50th, respectively, in North American history, according to Equibase.

Court reached 4,000 victories in 2016 and eclipsed $100 million in career purse earnings last year.

"Those crossroads do lie before me," Court said, when asked about retirement. "Until that chapter comes in my life, I'm just not going to put too much thought into it. Regardless of my conduct and my reputation, I put it in the Lord's hands."

Sports on 02/13/2018

Print Headline: Court surpasses 650 Oaklawn victories

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