The Mike Venezia Award was established by the NYRA and is named after the former jockey who was killed in a tragic riding mishap at Belmont Park in October of 1988. Venezia received the inaugural award posthumously in 1989.Other previous winners were Bill Shoemaker (1990), Chris McCarron (1991), Angel Cordero Jr. (1992), Jerry Bailey (1993), Mike Smith (1994), Pat Day (1995), Laffit Pincay Jr. (1996), Robbie Davis (1997), Eddie Maple (1998), Gary Stevens (1999), Jorge Chavez (2000), Mike Luzzi (2001), and Dean Kutz (2002).
Jockey Richard Migliore has been named the recipient of the 2003 Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the New York Racing Association announced Thursday.The award honors riders who "exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship." Migliore will be awarded a 13-inch bronze statue during a ceremony at Belmont Park on Memorial Day.Fans, turf writers, and jockeys selected Migliore from a group of nominees that also included jockeys Patricia Cooksey, Aaron Gryder, and John Velazquez. Migliore, 39, rides year-round on the NYRA circuit. He won the Eclipse Award for outstanding apprentice jockey in 1981 when he led all New York jockeys with 257 wins. He has gone on to win more than 3,600 races and $116-million in purses during his career.