The “Magical” Mile – Jockeys

14 Aug

Sunday is the big day – the 77th running of the Longacres Mile!

Lets span back and look at some of the illustrious jockeys that sat aboard some of the beautiful Thoroughbreds to race in the Pacific Northwest.

GARY BAZE (3,504 career wins) leads all of the 343 jockeys to ride in the Mile with FIVE WINS from 19 mounts. Gary won back-to-back Miles aboard TROOPER SEVEN in 1980-1981. He did the trick again in 1985 aboard CHUM SALMON. Two years later he was aboard JUDGE ANGELUCCI in the winner’s circle. His final Mile win came at Yakima Meadows aboard 30-1 outsider ADVENTURESOME LOVE (1993).

RUSSELL BAZE (11,675 career wins)  is the other rider with more than two victories. Russell was aboard SIMPLY MAJESTIC in 1988 and picked up his next two Mile wins at Emerald Downs aboard SKY JACK and ADREAMISBORN in consecutive years (2003-2004). Russell the “Muscle” with a mount this week would tie his cousin Gary with 19 trips in the 1-mile race. He’s ridden in the past 10 LGA Miles and it would be his 13th Mile mount at Longacres and that would be a record.

LAFFIT PINCAY, JR. (9,530 wins) won aboard two of his three rides in the Mile. The Pirate sat aboard Chinook Pass (1983) and Skywalker (1986).

SANDY HAWLEY (6,450 wins) notched two wins and a second from five rides. Past the wire first aboard Yu Wipi in 1976 and Pompeii Court in 1982.

JOHN LONGDEN (6,032 wins) made it to the wire first in two Miles (Harpie – 1962 and Viking Spirit – 1964), from seven mounts.

GARY STEVENS (4,888 wins) won one Mile (Louis Cyphre 1991) and also had a second in six attempts. The runner-up finish was aboard 3-10 Hesabull in 1997. Hesabull was the heaviest favorite in the history of the Mile!

BILL SHOEMAKER (8,833 wins) trekked to Longacres in 1949 to ride a 3-year-old filly named Irene’s Angel who was assigned 100 pounds. The 18-year-old apprentice missed by a neck to Blue Tiger. Shoemaker wouldn’t ride in his next Mile until 1978 when he guided Bad ‘N Big to a 3/4-length victory. The “Shoe’s” final Mile was in 1981 when he had the mount on Doonesbury (5-2 3rd choice). Track announcer Gary Henson summed it up: “And Doonesbury has pulled up,” while he raced into the first turn.

GARRETT GOMEZ (3,630 wins) toured the EmD racetrack in the 1999 Mile aboard the nifty winner Budroyale.

EDDIE ARCARO (4,779 wins) shipped in from Chicago to ride in the 1950 Longacres Mile because the Renton racetrack was the only one in the country racing on Sundays. Arcaro, in his only Mile ride, won on Two and Twenty edging out Whang Bang with Joe Baze doing the whippin’.

EDDIE DELAHOUSSAYE (6,384 wins) won the second fastest Mile in history when he stopped the timer in 1:33 1/5 aboard Wild Wonder in 1998. He also finished third in 1979 riding Bad ‘N Big.

BILL HARTACK (4,272 wins) had a first and a second from his two mounts. He won in 1955 by 6 lengths aboard Quality Quest and returned in 1965 to finish second aboard 3-2 favorite Hoist Bar.


Paul Frey (0-11); did finish second 50 years ago aboard Dr. John H. (1962).

Lennie Knowles (0-10); a second-place finish was best on Doctor Spark in 1964.

Gilbert Simonis (0-10); best finish being third in 1961.


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