Pat Day retires from horse racing at 51

Aug. 3, 2005 at 2:37 PM

CHURCHILL DOWNS, Ky., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Hall of Fame jockey and all-time purse leader Pat Day has retired from his 32-year racing career to help a racetrack chaplaincy program, reports said.

Day, 51, was to announce his retirement Thursday at Churchill Downs, Ky., to "get one-on-one with the Lord," agent Doc Danner told the Louisville, (Ky.) Courier-Journal.

Danner said Day told him Tuesday evening he would retire from a career he began in 1973.

"He went on a sabbatical and the Lord assured him it was time to move on and pursue a different direction in his life," Danner told The Blood-Horse magazine online edition.

Day plans to work with a racetrack chaplaincy program. The retirement is not related to recent hip surgery Day underwent, the magazine reported.

"He's a living legend, for sure," trainer Paul McGee told the Courier-Journal. "I don't think it's out of line to call him the best of all time."

Day is horse racing's all-time purse leader with nearly $298 million in career winnings. He is No. 4 in career victories with 8,804.

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