Legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker dead

Oct. 12, 2003 at 3:32 PM

SAN MARINO, Calif., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker died in his sleep Sunday at his San Marino, Calif., home. He was 72.

Shoemaker had been paralyzed from the neck down since a car accident in 1991.

The 4-foot-11 Hall of Famer had the second-highest number of victories in thoroughbred racing history with 8,883 trips to the winner's circle spanning 41 years. He rode in a record 40,350 races.

"The Shoe," as he was called, became the oldest jockey to win a Kentucky Derby in 1986 at age of 54. During that race, he guided the horse Ferdinand along a small opening on the rail in a ride considered one of the greatest ever, Voice of America said.

His last race was Feb. 3, 1990, where a crowd of 64,573 at the Santa Anita Racetrack saw him ride Patchy Groundfrog to a fourth place finish.

He is survived by his former wife and a daughter, Amanda.

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