Old Friends

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 22, 2008 in General Discussion, Other Events | No Comments >>

On Saturday, October 18 there will be a very interesting race taking place at Santa Anita. It will be the “Living Legends Race.” This is one that you will not want to miss, so be sure to mark your calendar.

The race itself will have stars that we have watched over the years. It will feature eight Hall of Fame jockeys.  They are: Jerry Bailey, 51; Pat Day, 55; Sandy Hawley, 59; Julie Krone, 45; Chris McCarron, 53; Gary Stevens, 45; and Jacinto Vasquez, 64.

Cordero has been out of the saddle the longest (since 1992), and returned to ride one more race back in 1995. He has ridden over 7,000 winners and earned $164 million during his career. After beginning his career in 1960 in Puerto Rico, Cordero was known to be an aggressive rider. He is now agent to one of the most talented riders in the country, John Velasquez.

The race will be at a sprint distance, and will have pari-mutuel wagering. The riders will carry 126 pounds aboard California breds. The choice of mounts will be decided by a draw selection. So, everyone has the same chance.

This race should be a great deal of fun for both competitors and fans alike. To watch our heroes of years gone by match up and roar down the stretch will bring a tear to your eye. Here is an estimation on how the race will unfold: “And they’re off!” – Taking lead where he was so comfortable for years is Pat Day nursing the speed of whoever he rides; Sandy Hawley and Jerry Bailey saving ground along the inside; Julie Krone will be about two off of the rail staying away from Cordero who will riding in fifth place, and trying to come through a hole that you couldn’t throw a playing card. Chris McCarron will be content to patiently wait for his one run as we watched for years, and bringing up the rear will be (professional golfer, and well known closer) Jacinto Vasquez… The rest will be pure excitement as they thunder down the stretch. For some it could be the last time, and for the fan, the last time to see one of the best professional groups of riders in our lives. No matter who wins, it is sure to be remembered for years to come. But if I was forced to make a wager, it would be Jerry Bailey just edging out Gary Stevens at the wire. Jerry made very few mistakes in his career, and you can bet he’ll be doing what he did best.