SANTA ANITA TO HONOR JOCKEYS DESHAWN PARKER & LUIS M. QUINONES WITH GEORGE WOOLF MEMORIAL JOCKEY AWARD PRESENTATION ON SUNDAY
DUAL CEREMONY TO TAKE PLACE BETWEEN RACES IN RUNHAPPY WINNER’S CIRCLE
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 10, 2021)–In a dual ceremony that will honor a pair of distinguished jockeys, DeShawn Parker and Luis M. Quinones, Santa Anita Park will officially honor both the 2020 and 2021 winners of racing’s prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award this Sunday, May 16.
Instituted by Santa Anita in 1950 to honor the legacy of the legendary jockey George Woolf, the Woolf Award, which can only be won once, honors those riders whose careers embodied class and dignity and have thus represented Thoroughbred horse racing in a consistently professional manner.
Currently based in Ohio, Quinones, America’s second leading rider by races won in 2019 with 314 victories, was originally scheduled to accept the 2020 Woolf Trophy on March 22 of last year, but due to complications related to the COVID-19 virus, he will instead participate in a Runhappy Winner’s Circle ceremony between races with his close personal friend and 2021 Woolf Award winner DeShawn Parker this Sunday.
Quinones, 42, outpolled a highly respected group of finalists last year that included Tyler Baze, Javier Castellano, Chris Emigh and James Graham.
“It’s a great honor just to be on the ballot for this award,” said Quinones last spring. “Winning the Woolf Award is incredible. I’m looking forward to coming out there and I know this is something I will never forget.”
DeShawn Parker, who at five feet, 10 inches, “stands out” in any jockey colony, became the first African-American rider since 1895 to lead all American jockeys in races won in 2010, with 377 trips to the Winner’s Circle and he becomes the 72nd Woolf Award winner, dating back to Gordon Glisson in 1950.
In 2011, he upped that total to 400 wins, and was again the nation’s leading jockey by races won. A Cincinnati, Ohio native, Parker, 50, was a dominant force at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia for more than 20 years and he has also enjoyed much success at Indiana Grand, as he led all riders there in 2020, and at Sam Houston Race Park, where he was their leading rider in 2015.
Fast closing in on 6,000 career wins, Parker is the son of longtime highly respected Ohio racing steward, Daryl Parker, who passed away in Cincinnati on March 4.
“My idol, my best friend and a great father!” Parker tweeted on March 5. “He meant so much to my life and my career. I can only hope to be as great as he was…”
Parker, who outpolled fellow jockeys Alex Birzer, Jorge Martin Bourdieu, Kendrick Carmouche and Aaron Gryder to win this year’s Woolf Award, and Quinones, will be accompanied on Sunday by their wives, children and close friends.