CHARLES TOWN, W. VA. — CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- William "Willie" Clark, who at age 69 is the nation's oldest active thoroughbred jockey, has announced plans to retire after 44 years of riding.
Clark said that his final ride could come as soon as Friday, aboard Gama Force.
A member of the Charles Town Races Jockey Hall of Fame, Clark began his riding career at Laurel Race Course in 1947 and has amassed a lifetime record of 1,143 wins, 1,171 seconds and 1,207 thirds from 10,629 mounts for earnings of more than $1.8 million. He has reduced his rides in recent years, but still has managed to boot home two wins, two seconds and two thirds from 16 mounts this year.
Track management is planning a winner's circle ceremony to commemorate his final race.