2004 George Woolf Award winner Robby Albarado with fellow Cajun and 1981 Woolf winner Eddie Delahoussaye.
Robby Albarado was honored as the winner of the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a winner's circle ceremony at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, Feb. 7. He was among five finalists nominated for the honor with a nationwide vote of jockeys determining the winner. Albarado, 30, becomes the 55th winner of the award that has been presented annually since 1950 and honors the memory of one of the greatest Thoroughbred jockeys in history, George Woolf, the Racing Hall of Fame jockey who died from injuries suffered in a spill at Santa Anita in 1946.
The Woolf Award honors riders whose careers and personal character reflect positively on themselves and the sport of Thoroughbred racing and is prized as one of racing's most prestigious accolades. Since 1985, jockeys nationwide have voted to determine the winner. Albarado was nominated for the 2004 Woolf Award along with riders Gary Baze, Julie Krone, Randall Meier and Richard Migliore.
2004 George Woolf Award presentation in the winner's circle at Santa Anita with jockey Gary Stevens at the podium. Albarado is on the far left in the Seabiscuit silks.
Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Sept. 11, 1973, Albarado has won over 2,800 races with purses in excess of $81 million. He enjoyed one of his best years in 2003 while winning 185 races and finishing 11th nationally in purse earnings with $11,061,314. He also rode Horse of the Year Mineshaft to seven wins in nine starts for over $2.2 million in earnings, and currently leads the standings at Fair Grounds with 45 wins through Jan. 29.
"It's an awesome honor," Albarado said. "I think it's the best award a jockey can receive. Believe me I'd love to win an Eclipse Award, but that's more based on numbers on the racetrack. This award is voted on by our peers, and they are the ones who know us best because we're around each other more than we are around our families. So I'm thrilled."
Robby Albarado accepts his George Woolf Award.
From a Santa Anita Park press release.
Photos courtesy of Tina Hines.
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