Alex Maese, whose career as a jockey spanned nearly 30 years, died early Thursday morning in Pasadena, Calif., from complications of recent surgery. He was 83.
Maese, who rode from 1952-1981, was inducted into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame in 1986. He won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1966 and was present when Ramon Dominguez became the latest Woolf Award winner earlier this year.
Maese, who collected his first victory at Pomona--now known as Fairplex Park--and his last at Golden Gate Fields, finished his career with 1,981 wins and purse earnings of $8,673,676.
He is 43rd all time in the standings at Hollywood Park (now Betfair Hollywood Park) with 252 wins, 18 of them coming in stakes. Among his biggest successes locally were the 1958 Inglewood Handicap with Eddie Schmidt, 1959 Honeymoon Handicap (Cellyar), 1963 Railbird Handicap (Well Ordered), 1965 Hollywood Derby (Terry’s Secret), 1966 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (Forgotten Dreams) and 1967 Milady Handicap (Desert Trial).
Maese’s son Carlton said his father was particularly proud of his wins in the Hollywood Derby and the Del Mar Futurity (Perris in 1963 and Terry’s Secret the following year) and the 1959 Arlington Futurity.
“He won with T.V. Lark and the purse of $250,000 was the largest in the country,’’ Carlton said of the Arlington race.
In addition to Carlton, Maese’s survivors include Rosemarie, his wife of 52 years, and four other sons and daughters. Services are pending.