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MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR JOCKEY ALEX MAESE SET FOR SUNDAY IN SANTA ANITA’S TURF CLUB CHANDELIER ROOM
ARCADIA, Calif. (June 28, 2012)—A memorial service for popular retired jockey Alex Maese will take place this Sunday, July 1, in Santa Anita’s Turf Club Chandelier Room, beginning at 12 noon.
Maese, who passed away at the age of 83 on June 14 due to a staph infection incurred as the result of a routine back surgery, was a regular rider in California from 1952 until his retirement in 1981.
A winner of Santa Anita’s prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1966, Maese is survived by his wife of 52 years, Rosemarie, and five children, Suzanne, Alex Jr., James and twin brothers Christian and Carlton. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Known primarily for his accomplishments locally, Maese made his mark on a national stage in 1959, winning the $250,000 Arlington Futurity in Chicago aboard future Hall of Famer TV Lark. The race is believed to have carried the biggest purse in America that year.
However Maese, who retired with 1,981 wins and career purse earnings of $8,673,676, is best known as the regular rider of Terry’s Secret, an ornery sort with whom Maese won 11 races, including the 1964 Del Mar Futurity and the both the Del Mar Derby and Del Mar Handicap in 1965. “Terry’s” final win came in the 1966 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.
Prior to his exploits in the saddle, Maese gained fame as an outstanding quarterback at Anaheim High School. Maese graduated from Anaheim High in 1947 and was inducted into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame 1986.
“His whole life revolved around athletics,” said Maese’s son Christian, in a recent Pasadena Star News interview. “He was just tremendously generous with his time and even financially.”
Maese was a regular attendee at Santa Anita, always dressed impeccably and in good humor. In addition to his annual participation in the Santa Anita George Woolf Award, Maese also availed himself annually to help promote the Santa Anita Jockeys/Holy Angels Boys Charity Basketball Game.
“Maese was known as a leader among track jockeys and employees,” wrote Janet Brown in an Anaheim High School Alumni Association article. “He helped solve disputes among riders and built camaraderie among riders by forming jockey football, basketball and softball teams.”
In lieu of flowers, the Maese family has requested that donations be made to the following: San Marino High School Athletics, Anaheim High School Athletics or to Westchester (Ca.) Lutheran School.