1955
Eddie Arcaro, Greatest Jockey of His Time.


Arguably the most successful thoroughbred jockey in American history, George Edward (Eddie) Arcaro (1916-1997) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. His mother was of Italian ancestry as was his father who operated a taxi. Weighing only three pounds at birth, and destined to be of slight physical stature, Eddie would exploit his slim frame and his athleticism. He dropped out of school when he was only 13 and became an exercise boy --the entry step in the sport of horse racing. His goal of becoming a professional jockey began inauspiciously in 1931, as he failed to win a race in his debut year. Indeed he had to wait until 1932 before he became a winner, a feat he would repeat thousands of times during his illustrious career. He also suffered a fractured skull in a spill early in his career. Over a 31-year racing career spanning from 1931 to 1961, Arcaro mounted horses in 4,777 races, coming in first in stake events 549 times. In 1958 he became only the third jockey to win 4,000 races and the purses his horses won totaled over 30 million dollars -a record in that era. His fierce nature and competitiveness got him in trouble in 1942 when he was suspended for a year for interfering with another jockey. Chastened by the experience he resumed his career and his winning ways. The highlights of Arcaro's career occurred in the nation's premier racing events: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. He was the first jockey to win five Kentucky Derby events and was twice the victor of the Triple Crown. He was the first to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes six times each and he established a record earning $645,145 in one season on the outstanding horse "Citation". Arcaro along with Earl Sande and George Woolf, was one of three jockeys elected to the newly-created Hall of Fame in 1955.Upon his retirement he remained active as a television sports commentator.




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