Birzer wins 1,000th Prairie Meadow race
Alex Birzer became the second jockey to win 1,000 Prairie Meadows races when he took Sunday’s fourth race aboard Lazeka.
Birzer, who first rode at Prairie Meadows in 1996, ranks second on the track’s career wins list behind Glenn Corbett’s 1,286 total. “It’s special,” Birzer said of the milestone. “It’s tough to have that much success at one track over the years. It’s been a lot of hard work. I have a good agent and a lot of good people behind me.”
Birzer was the leading rider of Prairie Meadows’ mixed meet from 2006-08 and co-leading rider in the 2010 thoroughbred meet. He is on his way to another title, winning 24 percent of his starts. He finished with two wins Sunday to give him 65 for the meet, 18 more than runner-up David Mello.
Birzer set a record for consecutive wins at Prairie Meadows by winning the first five races on Sept. 2, 2007. He won his 1,000th and 2,000th career races at Prairie Meadows and was the third-leading rider at Oaklawn Park in 2011 and 2012. Overall, he has won 2,3635 thoroughbred races in his career and has won 15.6 percent of his starts at Prairie Meadows.
His 1,000 wins consisted of 975 in thoroughbred races and 25 in quarter horse dashes.
Lazeka was 6-1 in the seven-horse field. Birzer had to wait behind a wall of horses on the far turn, but when an opening developed outside between horses, he sent the filly through and she pulled away to win by 2½ lengths.
“She ran a real nice race,” Birzer said. “I just had to sit and wait. We were boxed in around the turn, and once we got out, she just went right to business.”