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Willie Shoemaker

Setting Records

Shoemaker's 8,833 wins represent several decades worth of excellence on thoroughbred tracks. In 1951 the jockey was the leading money winner at $1,329,890. In 1953 he beat the world record for victories in one year with 392 and ended year with 485. He had his first victory in the Kentucky Derby in 1955, when he rode Swaps to a length-and-a-half victory over the favorite Nashua. Another big race came on Jaipur in the 1962 Belmont stakes, a competition in which he nosed out Admiral's Voyage and Crimson Satan. Shoe made a rare and now notorious mistake in the 1957 Kentucky Derby when he misjudged the finish line aboard Gallant Man. The jockey thought he had won the race and stood up in the stirrups prematurely; he was passed by Iron Liege, who won the race. Shoemaker was suspended for fifteen days by Churchill Downs stewards for "gross carelessness." Other riders have marveled

Willie Shoemaker

that he was able to put this incident behind him, considering it a potentially mentally debilitating experience.

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Famous Sports StarsHorse RacingWillie Shoemaker - Early Challenges, Exceptional Talents, Chronology, Related Biography: Jockey Eddie Arcaro, Setting Records - CONTACT INFORMATION