Santa Anita to Honor Retired Jockey McCarron
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 3/27/2005 9:26:05 PM
Last Updated: 4/1/2005 5:18:01 PM

Retired jockey Chris McCarron, to be honored by Santa Anita Park.
Photo: Benoit photo
Edited from track report
Santa Anita Park will honor one of its all-time leading jockeys when it hosts "Chris McCarron Day" on Saturday, April 9, which is also Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) Day.

McCarron, who retired from riding in 2002, will be honored in the winner's circle following the day's sixth race. McCarron retired from the saddle in June 2002, but not before establishing himself as one of the most successful jockeys ever. He ranks sixth all-time with 7,141 wins and third in purse earnings with nearly $264 million. He posted two wins in each of the Triple Crown races -- Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) -- and rode five Breeders' Cup Classic winners, most recently in 2001 with Tiznow. He also won two Eclipse Awards and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989.

His 1,613 victories at Santa Anita ranks fourth all-time, and he won virtually every major race at the track.

Santa Anita Park will pay McCarron the ultimate compliment with his own statue in the paddock gardens. Immortal jockeys Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay Jr. and John Longden, and training legend Charlie Whittingham currently are the only horsemen to be so honored. Artist Nina Kaiser has been commissioned to sculpt the McCarron bust, which will be unveiled during the 2005-06 Santa Anita winter/spring meeting.

"Santa Anita has one of the greatest histories of any racetracks in the world, and Chris McCarron is a large part of that history," said Santa Anita general manager George Haines. "His records as a jockey are remarkable, and his dedication to his sport and fellow riders exemplary. We're proud to have Chris join this very select circle of greats."

McCarron co-founded with his wife Judy and actor Tim Conway the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund, a charity organization for disabled riders. He also was the race designer for the hit movie "Seabiscuit", in which he also played the role of jockey Charley Kurtsinger.

Since his retirement as a jockey, McCarron also has served as general manager of Santa Anita Park, and plans to create a school for jockeys in Kentucky.

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