Eddie Delahoussaye, one of the greatest riders of all time, will be recognized on opening day of the autumn meet at Santa Anita Park Sept. 28, when the track cards the inaugural “Eddie D. Stakes” (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds and up at 6 ½ furlongs down the Camino Real Turf Course.
A revered member of racing’s Hall of Fame and a two-time winner of the Kentucky Derby, Delahoussaye won the race’s precursor, the Morvich Stakes, in 1984 with the Eddie Gregson-conditioned Tsunami Slew.
“This is a great honor,” said Delahoussaye, who resides in Arcadia with his wife, Juanita, daughter Mandy, son Loren, and sister Rose Ann. Delahoussaye is active in the Thoroughbred business as a racing and sales consultant.
“My family is very excited about it and I am too," he said. "This race has a rich history and I want to thank Santa Anita for thinking of me.
“Juanita and I plan to be there on opening day and it should be a lot of fun. I won a lot of races coming down that hill, but I never thought they’d name a race for me. We love going to the races at Santa Anita and we’re here all the time. There’s so much history here and it’s the most beautiful track in the country. I just hope I can pick the winner!”
A native of New Iberia, Louisiana, Delahoussaye, 60, commanded the respect of fans and horsemen alike as a plain-spoken, down-to-earth athlete who remained unchanged throughout his spectacular career which began in 1968 and ended, due to injury, in January 2003.
In addition to his two Kentucky Derby wins, Delahoussaye won the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) once and the Belmont Stakes (gr. I)twice. He also won seven Breeders’ Cup races, including the 1992 Classic with A.P. Indy, who he considers the best horse he ever rode.
America’s leading rider in 1978 with 384 wins, Delahoussaye amassed a total of 6,384 career victories and won riding titles at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Keeneland, Arlington Park, Churchill Downs, Del Mar, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita.
In addition to the inaugural “Eddie D. Stakes,” Santa Anita will be renaming a number of other stakes to be run at the 2012 fall meet.
For season box information or to make dining and/or seating reservations for the upcoming Autumn Meet, fans are encouraged to visit www.santaanita.com or to call (626) 574-RACE.