Jessica Pyfer joins record-setting female jockeys with four-win day at Santa Anita

May 25th, 2021

On May 16, Jessica Pyfer made history at Santa Anita Park.

The apprentice jockey rode eight of nine races on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, and when the dust settled, Pyfer had visited the winner’s circle four times. According to Santa Anita publicity, Pyfer’s four-win day is believed to be a record for a female apprentice in California.

Pyfer’s feat was an impressive display of versatility. She won a six-furlong turf sprint with pace-tracking tactics. She won a six-furlong dirt sprint after a duel for the lead. She employed the same strategy in a 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint, then rallied from the clouds to win six-furlong grass dash by a neck. She also finished second in a one-mile turf route.

As of May 21, Pyfer ranks sixth in the jockey standings at Santa Anita, with 31 wins, which tops all apprentices.

Pyfer’s four-win afternoon has placed the 23-year-old rider among a memorable group of female jockeys who have enjoyed record-setting days at tracks across North America.

Let’s take a tour through the history books and place Pyfer’s achievement in context with a half-dozen other record-setting days.

Maureen Andrews: Seven wins at Mountaineer

On Nov. 17, 1997, Maureen Andrews achieved one of racing’s rarest feats — she won seven races in a single day.

At Mountaineer in West Virginia, Andrews rode all 10 races over a muddy track, won the first six, and added a seventh later on the card.

No jockey before or since has won more races on a Mountaineer card than Andrews, and her seven-win day is the record for a female jockey in North America.

Vicky Baze: Six wins at Yakima Meadows

Washington Racing Hall of Fame inductee Vicky Baze won 2,146 races during her career, including six on Nov. 24, 1991 at Yakima Meadows in Washington.

Even though only two of her seven mounts were favored, Baze managed to tie the record for the most wins in a day by a jockey at Yakima Meadows.

Ashley Broussard: Six wins at Delta Downs

After she warmed up with a couple near misses, Ashley Broussard went on a tear during the Dec. 14, 2016 evening card at Delta Downs in Louisiana.

Broussard’s final six mounts were all winners, including one who claimed top prize via disqualification. No jockey has ever won more races in a single day at Delta Downs.

Carol Cedeno: Six wins at Delaware Park

Carol Cedeno equaled an impressive standard for excellence at Delaware Park on July 11, 2018.

From eight mounts, she rode six winners, which matches a record no other jockey has exceeded.

A pair of frontrunners, a couple of mid-pack closers, two late runners — Cedeno rode winners from all over the track, and on both dirt and turf.

Mary Elizabeth Doser: Six wins at Great Lakes Downs

Who was the first jockey to win six races in a day at Great Lakes Downs? That would be Mary Elizabeth Doser, who scored a half-dozen from seven rides on June 21, 1999.

By the time the short-lived Michigan racetrack closed its doors in 2007, a handful of other six-win days were achieved, but no one managed to top Doser’s standard.

Julie Krone: Six wins at the Meadowlands

Sept. 16, 1989 was a busy day for Hall of Famer Julie Krone.

Not only did she ride a couple of Grade 1 stakes at Belmont Park, where she finished second in the Woodward H. (G1), she also rode eight races at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, where she won six races, highlighted by the Atlantic County S.

No other jockey has won more than six Thoroughbred races in a day at the Meadowlands.