Joe Badilla Jr., who has been the American Quarter Horse Racing Assn.'s champion jockey four times since 1995, has retired.
According to Tim Mowry, Badilla's agent, the jockey, 30, cited personal reasons for his decision. The Arizona native has returned home to be with his wife, Roxsann, who is expecting the couple's first child later this year.
A victim of several nasty spills that led to some serious injuries during his career, Badilla ranks seventh on the all-time list at Los Alamitos with 1,433 victories. His 111 stakes wins put him fourth. This year, Badilla had 41 wins from 248 mounts at Los Alamitos
In 1998, Badilla set a record for purse earnings as his mounts banked $3,647,747, breaking the old mark of $2.8 million set by Kip Didericksen eight years earlier. During his career, he rode such stars as Whosleavingwho, the co-world champion of 2003, A Delightful Dasher and Evening Snow, who won the first Los Alamitos Million in 1995.
-- Bob Mieszerski