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JOCKEY BOREL TO RECEIVE WOOLF AWARD MARCH 14, HE BECOMES THE 61ST RECIPIENT OF COVETED TROPHY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2010)—By a vote of his peers, Calvin Borel will become the 61st recipient of the prestigious Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a winner’s circle ceremony at Santa Anita on Sunday, March 14.
“Calvin is proud and very honored to win this prestigious award,” said Jerry Hissam, Borel’s long time agent. “I’m proud to have been able to stand beside him for 20 years, and I realize I’m very close to him, but he’s earned this. He works very hard and he deals with everyone honestly. He’s an incredibly competitive rider and he gives everyone, the trainers, the owners and the fans, their money’s worth, every time he gets a leg up.
“He’ll ride on the 13th and then we’re looking forward to coming out there the next day for the Woolf Award. This is a great honor and I know Calvin wants to thank everyone that voted for him and all the horsemen that have supported him.”
It is expected that Borel will ride 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra on March 13 in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. It is hoped this will ready the superstar filly for an epic showdown with the Breeders’ Cup Classic champion mare Zenyatta in the $5 million Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 9.
The Woolf Award was created to honor and memorialize Woolf, who was one of the greatest riders of his era and who died soon after a spill on the Club House turn at Santa Anita on Jan. 13, 1946. The Woolf trophy is a replica of the full-size statue of the late jockey which adorns Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.
Born Nov. 7, 1966 in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, Borel is in his 36th year as a professional jockey, having won his first recognized race in 1976. Like so many Cajun riders before him, Borel began riding match races in his native Louisiana long before he was old enough to compete at recognized racetracks.
In addition to his storybook run with Rachel Alexandra last year, Borel, who won his first Kentucky Derby in 2007 with Street Sense, notched his second Derby win last year with Mine That Bird at odds of 50-1.
From “matching” at age eight, to winning his first Kentucky Derby at age 40, Borel’s career has been punctuated by hard work and a no-nonsense approach to the sport’s daily rigors. Borel can commonly be found mucking stalls and performing other menial stable chores for his brother, trainer Cecil Borel, at Oaklawn Park’s annual winter/spring meeting.
First presented by Santa Anita in 1950, the Woolf Award was won last year by John Velazquez.