Mario Pino

Mario Pino

Anne M. Eberhardt

Pino to Receive George Woolf Award April 14

Ceremony planned to honor 51-year-old rider between races at Santa Anita Park.

Mario Pino, winner of the 2013 Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, will accept the award in a winner’s circle ceremony between races April 14 at Santa Anita Park.

Pino, Maryland’s all-time leading jockey, recently moved with his wife, Christina, and three daughters to Florida. The 51-year-old rider ranks 10th on racing’s all-time win list with nearly 6,500 winners.

In a vote of jockeys nationwide, Pino outpolled fellow riders Javier Castellano, Perry Compton, David Flores, and Rodney Prescott for this year's Woolf Award.

Initiated by Santa Anita in 1950, the award honors riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing.

Pino garnered national acclaim as the regular rider of top-tier 3-year-old Hard Spun  in 2007, guiding him to a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and to victories in the King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course and the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park. He would go on to ride the Larry Jones trainee to a runner-up finish behind eventual Horse of the Year Curlin  in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.

The Woolf Award was created to honor and memorialize the legendary jockey George "The Iceman" Woolf, who was regarded as one of the greatest big money riders of his era. He died following a spill at Santa Anita Jan. 3, 1946. The trophy is a replica of the full-size statue of the late jockey which adorns Santa  Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.

The Woolf Award was won last year by Ramon Dominguez.