Jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., who accommodated countless media requests in the process of becoming the winningest rider in Thoroughbred racing history last December and then again when he crossed the 9,000-win plateau on Oct. 28 of this year, has been voted the first two-time winner of Big Sport of Turfdom, it was announced today by Bob Curran Jr., the president of the Turf Publicists of America (TPA).The award is presented annually to an individual whose cooperation with the media enhances coverage of Thoroughbred racing and Pincay will receive it for the second time on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at the Big Sport of Turfdom Luncheon at Arnaud's Restaurant in New Orleans, La. He last won it in 1985."Laffit Pincay, Jr. never seeks the spotlight, but when it finds him, he is always more than willing to promote the sport of Thoroughbred racing," said Curran. "It's our good fortune that someone who has broken as many records as he has is so generous with his time. Members of the media, especially those who don't usually cover our sport, always come away with a sincere admiration and fondness for Laffit after spending time with him."Pincay, a native of Panama City, Panama, has won more than 9,000 races and shattered numerous records in the course of a 37-year riding career. He has won a Kentucky Derby, three Belmont Stakes, seven Breeders' Cup races and six Eclipse Awards. He broke Bill Shoemaker's longstanding record for career wins when he won his 8,834th race Dec. 10, 1999.Pincay, who will turn 54 on December 29th, was inducted into the
National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 1975 at the age of 29. He has also been honored with the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award and the Mike Venezia Memorial Award.The TPA is an organization consisting of 181 publicity and marketing personnel from racetracks and racing organizations around the country and the Big Sport of Turfdom Award has been presented every year since 1966.
Among the previous winners are: Bill Shoemaker, Burt Bacharach, Steve Cauthen, Jack Klugman, John Forsythe, Joe Hirsch, Jim McKay, Penny Chenery, Tim Conway, Chris McCarron and, in recent years, Bob Baffert, Mike Pegram and D. Wayne Lukas.