William "Billy" Fox Jr. had not competed in a Thoroughbred race since 1995, but he made his return to racing a winning one when he captured the sixth race at River Downs June 13.Riding for owner Bud Chittom and trainer Donald Winfree, the 40-year-old Fox rated Dues for the Blues in sixth early, then asked him for run. Dues for the Blues circled the field and won by a half-length in the $4,700 event for $4,000 claimers."Guess I had to go to plan B," Fox shouted to Winfree, alluding to the fact he was expected to be the pacesetter in the race. Dues for the Blues (by Devil His Due) had last won at Turfway Park in February in wire-to-wire fashion.Fox's career peaked in the late 1980's when he won the $200,000 Federico Tesio Stakes (gr. III), the $100,000 West Virginia Derby, and the $100,000 New York Stallion Stakes. His most memorable victory, however, came aboard champion Forty Niner in the $500,000 NYRA Mile (gr. I) in 1988. He picked up the mount during a jockeys' walkout.Fox's mounts have earned more than $7.69 million."I'm tickled to death for him," Winfree said. "He used to ride for me 12 years ago when I was the leading trainer (at Churchill Downs). He's been back galloping for about two months, and when I told him he could have the mount, he said if he could make the weight, he'd ride."
Fox, whose sister Tammy rides in Kentucky, has been involved in the restaurant business and currently runs Gumbo A Go Go in Louisville.