Olivares Named to Finger Lakes Hall of Fame

Former jockey Jose Olivares, whose career was cut short after being paralyzed in a spill at Finger Lakes in 1970, has been named the 15th member of the Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack Hall of Fame. An induction ceremony is scheduled to take place July 16 between the fifth and sixth races at the New York track.

Olivares joins Les Hulet as the only jockeys named to the Finger Lakes Hall of Fame. Hulet, inducted in 1999, and former trainer Bill Strange (2004), are currently the only non-equine members of the Hall of Fame that was established in 1996.

Olivares won the Finger Lakes jockey title six times in a seven-year span from 1964 to 1970. The Havana, Cuba native's riding career ended Sept. 17, 1970 when his mount Cy's Mistake drifted out, clipped heels with another horse, threw him to the track then landed on him, paralyzing him from the chest down.

Olivares, 29 at the time of the accident, was the sixth ranked jockey in the country with 114 victories.

Olivares won the New York Breeders' Futurity at Finger Lakes three times during his career. He won the first-running of the 2-year-old stakes aboard Prophet Wise in 1963. He also won with Happy Gold in 1967 and Egobreeze in 1969.

Olivares, who was named "Most Courageous Athlete " by the Rochester Press-Radio Club in early 1971, amassed 791 victories in his short career.

Along with the Hall of Fame ceremony, the July 16 card features the $150,000 New York Derby for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up. WYSL 1040AM will have live coverage of the Olivares induction, as well as both stakes, including pre and post race analysis beginning at 3 p.m.