Art Sherman

Art Sherman

Anne M. Eberhardt

Art Sherman to Receive Laffit Pincay Award

Jockey and trainer of nearly six decades honored for handling of California Chrome.

Art Sherman, a career horseman who rose to the pinnacle of racing this past spring when he guided California Chrome  to the edge of racing immortality in a thrilling Triple Crown run, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Laffit Pincay Jr. Award.

Sherman will receive the award and its distinctive trophy July 27 in winner's circle ceremonies at Del Mar between the day's fourth and fifth races.

The Pincay Award, given annually since 2004 to those who have served the sport "with integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination and distinction," will be presented at Del Mar for the first time. Previously, the ceremonies were held at Hollywood Park, but when the Los Angeles track closed in 2013, Del Mar invited Hall of Fame rider Pincay to continue his tradition at its shore location.

Sherman, who came to the racetrack as a teenager and has spent his entire career either ridingwhich he did for 23 yearsor trainingwhich he has done for the past 35said he was honored and delighted to be receiving the award "from my old friend and one of my favorite riders.

"Laffit is a man of real class and it is an honor for me to be receiving an award named for him," Sherman said. "I am aware how prestigious this is and of the list of previous winners. To be in that kind of company makes this very special."

Sherman, 77, became the oldest trainer to win the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when California Chrome raced to an electrifying 1 3/4-length victory in the Run for the Roses. Subsequently, the handsome chestnut won the Preakness (gr. I) by 1 1/2 lengths, and had America abuzz with thoughts of the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years. California Chrome's run at the Triple Crown came up short in a valiant try in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Pincay, who rode for 39 years and won a then-world's record 9,530 races, earned five Eclipse Awards as America's top rider and led the nation in earnings on seven occasions. Now 67, he competed for 27 summers at Del Mar and is the track's winningest rider with 1,011 victories prior to his retirement in 2003.

"It is a pleasure for me to give this award to a man like Art Sherman," Pincay said. "It is well deserved; very well deserved. I've known Art for a long time and I know he's the kind of person people just like to be around. He's such an open and honest man and he handles himself so well. I think everyone saw that this spring. The way he dealt with all the things surrounding California Chromewinning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and all the pressure that came with thatjust showed everyone that he is a wonderful representative for horse racing."

The complete list of Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award winners:
2013 - Eddie Delahoussaye
2012 - John Harris
2011 - Jerry and Ann Moss
2010 - Oak Tree Racing Association
2009 - Merlin Volzke
2008 - Pete Pedersen
2007 - Elwood W. "Bud" Johnston
2006 - Mel and Warren Stute
2005 - Noble Threewitt
2004 - Bob Benoit