DamascusJockey Bill Shoemaker was still shopping for a Kentucky Derby mount in the early part of 1967. Then he rode Damascus in the March 25 Bay Shore Stakes."Bill Shoemaker's enthusiasm seemed out of proportion for a jockey who has won so many $100,000 stakes," William Rudy wrote in The Blood-Horse. "He had just taken the $25,000-added Bay Shore at Aqueduct and was grinning like an apprentice with his first win. 'I like him,' Shoemaker said. 'I liked him better now than I did before.' "Shoemaker, who passed up a chance to ride in a $100,000 Florida stakes the same day, had ridden Damascus in all four of the colt's 2-year-old races, including a score in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct. In Damascus' only other start as a 3-year-old, Nick Shuk rode him to a head victory at Pimlico.Damascus raced twice more at Aqueduct before the Run for the Roses, finishing second to Dr. Fager in the Gotham Stakes and winning the Wood Memorial Stakes. He ran third as the Derby favorite after not taking kindly to the humid weather and noise, but came back to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
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