Sam Krasner was named the 2005 Avelino Gomez Memorial Award winner. The award is given to the person, Canadian-born, Canadian-raised or regular rider in the country for more than five years, who has made significant contributions to the sport.
Presented annually on (Labatt Woodbine) Oaks day (June 12, 2005), the honor is in memory of Gomez, one of the sport's most heralded and revered performers. The Cuban-born Gomez died of complications after a three-horse accident in the 1980 Canadian Oaks.
As a lasting reminder of his contributions, a life-size statue of Gomez, who called Toronto home and raised a family there, overlooks Woodbine's walking ring. A replica is presented to each year's honoree.
Although Krasner, who recorded 3,136 lifetime wins, is disappointed at never having met or rode against Gomez, having his name associated with the legendary competitor is something he truly cherishes.
"Everything you hear about Avelino is positive," said the Atlanta-born Krasner, who arrived at Vancouver's Exhibition Park (now Hastings) in 1975. "When you see the names on that plaque and realize how talented and successful Avelino was, it really puts the honor in perspective."
Krasner joins Ron Turcotte, John Longden, Sandy Hawley, Don MacBeth, Chris Rogers, Jeff Fell, Lloyd Duffy, Hugo Dittfach, Robin Platts, Larry Attard, Don Seymour, David Gall, Richard Grubb, Irwin Driedger, David Clark, Jim McKnight, Chris Loseth, Richard Dos Ramos, Robert Landry and Francine Villeneuve as Gomez honorees.