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Shoemaker Award to be Presented to Outstanding Breeders' Cup Jockey


October 27, 2004     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Jim Gluckson
In memory of legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker, the outstanding jockey in this year’s Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will once again be honored with the Bill Shoemaker Award.  The 21st Breeders' Cup will be held on Saturday, October 30, at Lone Star Park in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie, Texas.

The winner, to be selected by the members of the media, will be announced and presented with a trophy at the Sunday Press Breakfast at Lone Star Park on October 31.

Alex Solis won the inaugural Shoemaker Award from his victories in last year’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park aboard Johan in the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf and on Pleasantly Perfect in the Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge.

Shoemaker passed away on Oct. 12 of last year at his home near Santa Anita racetrack. He was 72 years old. In 1970, Shoemaker broke Johnny Longden's record of 6,032 career victories, and he held the record until 1999, when Laffit Pincay Jr. passed his mark. Shoemaker finished with 8,883 wins in a career that spanned 41 years. In 1986, at 54, he became the oldest jockey to win a Kentucky Derby when he guided Ferdinand along a small opening on the rail in a ride considered one of the greatest ever. The next year, he and Ferdinand won the Breeders' Cup Classic, making Shoemaker the oldest jockey to win a Breeders' Cup race.