Jockey Pat Day
Originally a rodeo cowboy in his native Colorado, he switched to race riding in 1973 when he was persuaded because of his size (4'11" and 100 lb). Since then he has proven to be one of the greatest ever, leading in Breeders' Cup earnings with $20,412,760 and tied with Jerry Bailey in Breeders' Cup victories with twelve. He has won nine Triple Crown races including the 1992 Kentucky Derby on Lil E. Tee, the Preakness on Tank's Prospect in 1985 and Summer Squall in 1990; and the 1989 Belmont Stakes on Easy Goer. He won the Canadian Triple Crown with Dance Smartly in 1991, also piloting her to victory in that year's Breeders' Cup Distaff.
He has made Kentucky his home, perennially winning the riding titles at both Churchill Downs and Keeneland. He is the all-time leading rider at Churchill, where he booted home five winners on a card twenty one times in his career.
After winning the Sword Dancer and breaking the record, Pat Day said: "I would like to thank the thousands of horses that got me here,” Day said. “I would also like to praise God for keeping me healthy and injury-free. I want to thank my wife and daughter. It was a beautiful day here and it was fun to ride in front of a full house. It’s a great and enthusiastic crowd at Saratoga."
However, despite all his achievements, early in his career he was involved in drug and alcohol abuse. He overcame his addictions and became a born-again Christian and the official spokesman to the racing industry for the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America.
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