Don’t Ever Count Him Out

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 11, 2022 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Don’t Ever Count Him Out

Don’t call it a comeback
I’ve been here for years
Rocking my peers and putting suckers in fear – LL Cool J
I just wanted to be the best rider from Rivervale, Arkansas. That was good enough for me.” – Ouzts began riding horses with his cousins Earlie Fires and Jackie Fires. Earlie was inducted into the HOF while Jackie’s career was cut short when he was paralyzed in a racing incident in 1977.
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Perry began his career with his first win at Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio. – Rablue for his mentor and longtime friend W.J. Danner. That was in March 1973. – A lot has happened since that muddy day when a young man entered the winner’s circle.
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Born in 1954 in Lepanto, Arkansas; Ouzts had racing in his blood. A family rooted deep in the sport and it only seemed natural to try his hand. – 52,271 starts later he is the 6th all-time leading rider in North America with 7,244 wins. – I’ve seen many riders, but nobody compares to Ouzts’ competitive fire to win.” I just love winning races, and every time I still get the incredible feeling of jogging back to the winner’s circle. I love to win and it’s never gone away.”
With over $49,973,127 in career earnings, and now drawing his social security check. I think he’s getting by pretty well. He’ll turn 68-years-young this July when he hangs his tack at Belterra Park. – He loves the oval as it sits atop the old site of River Downs where Perry completed some great personal milestones. His most profitable win was aboard Old Man Buck in the $200,000 Miller Lite Cradle Stakes in 2007.
Perry could have ridden on any circuit building his business and plying his trade. – But, he chose to stay close to home in northern Kentucky to raise a family with his wife Toni. – “Nothing like being a big fish in a small pond.” – It has served the man well over the years.
A quiet man who prefers to do his talking on the track. The first rider in the jocks room readies himself like his first day on the job. – When the riders come out of the room and wait to be called for “riders up” – Perry Wayne Ouzts is the first rider out of the room. Laser-focused and ready to do what he loves.  That’s the passion you’ll see every day.
Raising two sons and being married to his best friend is a great reason why Perry Wayne Ouzts is who he is to this day. Half a sandwich and a cup of soup is his daily lunch and with a zen-like approach, this man from Arkansas has brought a great deal of joy to the races. – When he enters the winner’s circle, you’ll still hear shouts from the crowd of “Peeeerrrrry!”- He’s favorite among the fans and has taken quite a bit of notice from the world of racing. – But, none of this gets him jittered. He loves to do his job and to this day he still gets that magic feeling as he did back in 1973.
He has no concrete plans to retire; I think one day he’ll just hang it up and walk quietly with Toni by his side. – That’s the “Ironman.” – He does his talking from the back of a horse and still works as hard as any rider half his age. Watching Ouzts has been a pleasure. Rare to find a rider in my own backyard still competing with a raging fire. It has been a pleasure my friend; long may you ride.
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