Edited press release
Jon Court, a Florida native who has won more than 3,000 career races, has been selected as the winner of the 2007 Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Court, 46, is the 58th recipient of the award, which honors the memory of one of the greatest Thoroughbred jockeys of all time. The Woolf Award will be presented to Court March 25.
"I tell you what, I just never dreamed I'd see this day," said Court. "Winning the Woolf Award is a dream come true. Just to be a part of such an elite group of riders is far beyond any honor I could ever imagine achieving."
The Woolf Award honors riders whose careers and personal character reflect positively on themselves and on the sport of Thoroughbred racing. Since 1985, jockeys nationwide have voted to determine the winner and as such, it is considered by those that participate in the balloting to be one of racing's most prestigious awards.
It was named after the legendary George Woolf, known as “The Ice Man” due to his coolness in big race conditions. The jockey died shortly after a spill at Santa Anita in 1946.
The trophy is as replica of the full-size statue of Woolf that was created through donations from the racing public after his death.
"I would like to express my appreciation to all of the horsemen who've helped me along the way in my career," said Court of receiving the honor. "Without them, I wouldn't be in the position I am in today."
Court has won riding titles at Oaklawn Park (2000), Hoosier Park (1996, 1997), and Birmingham Park (1987), and he is the all-time winningest jockey at Ellis Park, where he was leading rider from 1987-91.
Largely due to the urging of trainer Doug O’Neill, Court moved his tack from the Midwest to Southern California in March of 2004. The next year, he piloted eventual Eclipse champion Leroidesanimaux to victories in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile and Citation Handicap (both gr. I).
Court was also an integral part of Cambiocorsa’s six-race win streak during the 2005-06 Santa Anita meeting. Trained by O’Neill, Cambiocorsa became the undisputed "queen" of Santa Anita's downhill turf course.
In addition to Leroidesanimaux, Court's other group or grade I victories have come aboard Fleet Street Dancer, Healthy Addiction, and Pure as Gold.
Court resides in nearby La Verne, with his wife, Krystal, and their 3-year-old daughter, Aubrey.