Jerry Bailey is rated as one of the greatest jockeys in the world. Born on 29 August 1957 in Dallas, Texas, he began his career as a race horse jockey in 1974. Bursting onto the scene he rode to victory at Sunland Park on the exquisite steed, Fetch, in that year. Since then he has met with great success, winning almost 6,000 races. Jerry Bailey is truly a legend in the horse racing industry.
Bailey first became familiar with thoroughbred racing through his father who was a horse owner. During his eventful career as a top jockey, Jerry Bailey gained 6 Triple Crown victories as well as set the record of 15 Breeders’ Cup wins. During the 1970’s and 80’s Jerry Bailey raced in Chicago and South Florida. From there he moved to New York in 1982. His jockey career gained real impetus when he formed a deal with Paul Mellon, owner of Rokeby Stable and his trainer Mackenzie Miller. Well-known as Cigar’s rider during 1990, Bailey backed many championship horses. Cigar became known as the “Horse of the World” and gained 16 consecutive victories. Bailey also set the Gulfstream record when he took the lead in 7 races on a single card in 1995. At Gulfstream in 2001 Bailey gained victory in 13 stakes. He also won the Gulfstream Park Handicap 7 times in his career and took 6 stake wins in 2005. Gaining 6 straight wins at Belmont, Jerry Bailey is known everywhere.
Beyond his many racetrack victories, Jerry Bailey has been presented with a number of prestigious awards. In 1992 he was awarded the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, considered by many to be the greatest recognition a jockey from the USA can receive. Then in 1993 he was given the Mike Venezia Award. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame inducted Jerry Bailey in 1995. He has also been the recipient of 7 Eclipse Awards through the years. In 2001 he was named the first jockey to have earned over $20 million in his career.
On 19 January 2006 Jerry Bailey announced his retirement. He participated in his final race on 28 January 2006 with 5 892 wins to his name. Bailey is set to begin a new career in the horse racing community as a television analyst. In this way he will be able to share his insights and opinions with others. We can also be sure he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Suzee and son, Justin Daniel. Horse racing enthusiasts can really get to know Jerry Bailey by reading his autobiography entitled “Against the Odds, Riding for My Life”.