Veteran reinsman Mike Oosting, who has become a fixture atop the driver standings on the Chicago circuit over the past 10-plus years, joined a select group of the sport's top drivers on Friday at Maywood Park as he posted his 5,000th career victory behind the Steve Bauder trained Sectionline Yankee in the night's fourth race.
The 50-year-old native of Fremont, Mich., who now resides in Beecher, Ill., put the good looking filly right on top from the word go as they cruised to a resounding six-length victory in 1:54.2 over six rivals.
"It was nice that this milestone came on an easy one like that filly,” laughed Oosting. "I usually don't pay that much attention to these kinds of numbers but I did become aware of it last week and I actually thought it would come last night (Thursday) but a couple of heavy favorites I was behind just didn't fire. It just goes to show you that in this sport it helps to have a little luck and plenty of horsepower to be successful.”
Oosting, who won an unprecedented six straight driving titles at Balmoral Park and currently sits atop the drivers' standings at Maywood Park in 2012 was also quick to praise the trainers who have continued to provide that horsepower.
"I'm very happy and proud of what I've accomplished in the years since I've arrived to drive on a regular basis here in Chicago,” said Oosting. "But I've always had good people to drive for and I'm very lucky and very thankful for that. Without their help something like this would not have been possible.”
Oosting, who has never had less than 261 wins in a season since embarking on a catch-driving career full time in 2002, currently has 325 victories this year. Horses driven by Oosting have earned more than $31 million throughout his career. He also has 539 training victories to his credit. (Maywood)