Jockey Akifumi Kato Celebrates 50 Years Of Winners On His 69th Birthday

Veteran reinsman Akifumi Kato celebrated a unique milestone on Thursday at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Ariz., the afternoon of his 69th birthday. Kato won the day’s fifth race aboard She’s A Lady Griz, trained by his daughter, Kaylyn Kato, marking the 50th consecutive year the jockey has recorded a victory in the saddle.

Kato, son of a Japanese jockey turned trainer, was born in Osaka, Japan in 1952. His first winner came at the Ferndale Fair in California, but he rode primarily at Playfair in Spokane, Wash., where he was the all-time leader with 1,104 victories, including two riding titles and four victories in the Playfair Mile.

Kato is the only active jockey to have won a race at the four major Washington tracks past and present—Longacres, Playfair, Yakima Meadows and Emerald Downs.

Kato has won a total of 2,034 races from 19,982 starts, according to Equibase, earning $6,359,385.

The post Jockey Akifumi Kato Celebrates 50 Years Of Winners On His 69th Birthday appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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