Jockey William Otero captured career victory 2,000 when Burst Away won the second race on Thursday at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
Otero, 38, grew up in Puerto Rico and came to the United States in 1995, riding initially at Tampa Bay Downs. He burst onto the Penn National riding scene in 2003, and was the track's leading rider in 2004, 2008, and 2009, with 166, 126, and 176 wins, respectively. Otero is 13th all-time at Penn National with 1,475 victories.
“This is super exciting and a very happy and emotional moment for me,” said Otero, currently second in the 2013 Penn National jockey standings with 82 wins. “Penn National is home, and I love everybody here. This is my family, and I'm thrilled to win it here at my home.”
He won the $60,000 Wiseman's Ferry HBPA Stakes at Penn National on June 22 aboard the 5-year-old mare Lenape Rim. The duo teamed up to annex two prior stakes at Penn National – the $75,000 Lyphard in 2012 and the $75,000 Ligature in 2011.
Otero's 2000th win came in his 13,720th career start, with in excess of $25 million total purses earned by his mounts.
Burst Away, a 4-year-old filly trained by Les Stickler, Jr., went off as the 7/5 favorite in the race, a $22,000 starter allowance event on the turf. Under confident handling by Otero, she stalked the early pace, took the lead going into the far turn, and held off all comers to register a measured 1 ¼-length score.
It was the fourth win in her past six starts, all coming at Penn National. Otero's 1,998th win came aboard Burst Away on August 1, and the duo also visited the winner's circle on June 26 and May 22.
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