Finalists for Woolf Award Announced

(from Santa Anita release)
David Flores, Casey Lambert, Richard Migliore, Ray Sibille and Rick Wilson have been nominated for the 2005 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, Santa Anita Park announced Thursday.

Now in its 55th year, the Woolf Award memorializes the jockey known as "The Iceman," who died in a tragic spill at Santa Anita in 1946. The award recognizes Thoroughbred jockeys whose careers have reflected credit on themselves and their sport.

Past winners include Hall of Fame members Bill Shoemaker, Eddie Arcaro, Laffit Pincay Jr., Angel Cordero Jr., Chris McCarron, Eddie Delahoussaye, Pat Day, Jerry Bailey and Gary Stevens. Robby Albarado was voted the Woolf Award in 2004.

Since 1985, jockeys from across the nation have voted to select the winner from nominations made by the Jockeys' Guild and Santa Anita Park. The 2005 winner will be announced in January and will be presented the award in March in a ceremony in the winner's circle.

Lambert, 39, has won 2,286 races in a 23-year career that began just two days after his 16th birthday in 1981.

Wilson, 51, ranks 20th on the career win list with 4,939 victories and is perhaps best known as the regular rider on the exceptional distaff sprinter Xtra Heat. He survived a horrific spill at Pimlico on May 8, sustaining severe head and neck injuries.

Sibille, 52, hung up his tack on July 21, calling it a career after 3 ½ decades and 4,264 wins, topped by a triumph aboard Great Communicator in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Turf. The retirement was due to Sciatica, a pain along the sciatic nerve usually caused by a herniated disc of the lumbar region of the spine and radiating to the buttocks and the back of the thigh.
The ever-popular Sibille won titles at all of the Chicago tracks and also enjoyed success while riding in Southern California from 1981-93.

The popular Migliore, 40, has ridden 3,973 winners while riding primarily in New York. and is well-liked by his peers and the fans. He is currently recovering from a fractured wrist but plans to resume riding soon.

Flores, 36, is among the top jockeys in Southern California and recorded the 10th million-dollar win of his career when he guided Singletary to victory in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile at Lone Star Park. Flores has 2,739 career wins and was leading rider at the 1998-99 Santa Anita Winter/Spring title and the 1999 Del Mar meeting.