Jockey Lanfranco "Frankie" Dettori, who rode Ouija Board and Red Rocks to victory during the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Thoroughbred Championships, was named recipient of the annual Bill Shoemaker Award during a press breakfast the following morning at Churchill Downs.
The award, given in honor of outstanding performance by a jockey during the Breeders' Cup, is voted on by members of the media and is traditionally presented to the recipient at the press breakfast.
Because Dettori was unable to receive the award in person--he left immediate following the Breeders' Cup for Australia to ride in Tuesday's Melbourne Cup program--Lord Derby accepted the presentation from retired Hall of Fame rider Pat Day. Lord Derby is the breeder and owner of Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Ouija Board, who was ridden by Dettori.
"Frankie is probably the most enthusiastic individual I've ever had the privilege of competing against," Day said, calling Dettori "a voracious competitor and tremendous horseman" who "definitely displayed his talents yesterday."
35-year-old Dettori, who has now won six Breeders' Cup races, is one of the most successful international jockeys in racing history. A resident of Newmarket, England, he has won such prestigious races as the Dubai World Cup (2000, Dubai Millennium; 2006, Electrocutionist) and the UAE Derby (2006, Discreet Cat). He has been the champion jockey in Britain three times--in 1994 with 233 winners, 1995 with 216 winners and 2004 with 192 winners.
"On Frankie's behalf, it's a great pleasure to accept this award for him, and I can't think of it going to a more appropriate chap," Lord Derby said. "He is a truly top international jockey, he has done so much. I know he's thrilled to receive this award."
Previous recipients of the Bill Shoemaker Award include Garrett Gomez (2005), John Velazquez (2004), and Alex Solis (2003).