Jerry D. Bailey

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Jerry Bailey
Occupation Jockey
Born August 29, 1957
Dallas, Texas, United States
Career wins 5,893
Major racing wins

New York Handicap Triple (1984)
Jaipur Stakes
(1984, 1991, 1993, 1998, 2001, 2002)
Bonnie Miss Stakes
(1993, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2005)
Dubai World Cup (1996, 1997, 2001, 2002)
Prince of Wales's Stakes (2000)
Hollywood Gold Cup
(1992, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2003)
Pacific Classic Stakes (2004)
Del Mar Futurity (2000)
Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap (2005)
Madison Stakes (2005)
Pimlico Special (1995, 1997, 2001)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1995, 1997, 2001)
Arlington Million (2000, 2002)
Kentucky Oaks (1993, 2001, 2005)

American Classics / Breeders' Cup wins:
Kentucky Derby (1993, 1996)
Preakness Stakes (1991, 2000)
Belmont Stakes (1991, 2003)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (1995, 1999)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile (1996, 1998, 2000)
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (1999, 2000)
Breeders' Cup Sprint (2001, 2002)
Breeders' Cup Mile (2003)
Breeders' Cup Classic
(1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2005)
Racing awards
George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (1992)
Mike Venezia Memorial Award (1993)
United States Champion Jockey by earnings
(1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003)
Big Sport of Turfdom Award (1996)
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey
(1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003)
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1995)
Significant horses
Black Tie Affair, Sea Hero, Fit to Fight
Cigar, Arcangues, My Flag, Skip Away
Royal Anthem, Hansel, Real Quiet
Six Perfections, Grindstone, Concern
Congaree, Victory Gallop, Medaglia d'Oro
Candy Eclair, Empire Maker, Saint Liam

Jerry D. Bailey (born August 29, 1957 in Dallas, Texas) is a retired American Hall of Fame jockey.

Life and career[edit]

Bailey began his racing career in November 1974. His first mount was on a horse named Pegged Rate, who ran off the board. He notched his first career win the next day on his second career mount, Fetch, at New Mexico's Sunland Park, and has gone on to win 5,892 races. Among his numerous wins, he can boast the New York Handicap Triple in 1984, six victories in American Classic Races races, and a record 15 wins in Breeders' Cup races, including five Breeders' Cup Classics. Three of his Breeders' Cup Classic wins were consecutive (1993–1995). Bailey is perhaps most famous among racing fans as the regular rider of 1990s great Cigar.

In his 2005 book titled Against The Odds, Bailey wrote about his battles with alcoholism that affected a large part of his early career.

When the 2003 Thoroughbred racing Eclipse Awards were handed out on January 26, 2004, Jerry Bailey was proclaimed the outstanding jockey in North America for an unprecedented seventh time (1995–1997 and 2000–2003); in 1997 he had been the first jockey to win three consecutive Eclipse Awards.

He now works as a horse racing analyst on NBC Sports Network. He has been a horse racing analyst since 2006 previously working for ESPN.

Bailey is also known for his controversial run in the 2004 Belmont Stakes atop Eddington. Smarty Jones, considered a strong favorite that year for the Triple Crown, ended up losing to Birdstone. Later careful study of the video replays gave rise to accusations that Bailey and another jockey had colluded to deny Smarty Jones the victory—that is, they rode not to win, but to defeat someone else. Although not against the rules, this kind of riding is considered highly unethical, and bad for the sport since Triple Crown winners are so rare. One jockey wrote "[Bailey's] ride in the Belmont Stakes, however, on a live contender, was a disgrace to horse racing. Bailey sacrificed himself only to beat Smarty Jones and jockey Stewart Elliott." [1] Of course it could be argued that, with Smarty Jones the horse to beat, Bailey wasn't winning anything that day if he did not beat him. In a retrospective article for the New York Times, racing pundit Jeff Dietz took issue with the conspiracy accusations: "In reviewing the replay of the 2004 Belmont, this much is clear: whether Eddington and Bailey prompted the pace too early is irrelevant...It didn't take a conspiracy to beat Smarty Jones, who weakened in the final strides of the Test of Champions. It was the last hundred yards after three grueling races in five weeks of racing that did in America's horse."[2] In any case, Bailey was that rare jockey who could win on any racetrack in the world and must be conceded as the greatest American jockey of his time.

In 1992, Bailey was selected for the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, arguably the top lifetime achievement award for North American jockeys. In 1993, he was voted the Mike Venezia Memorial Award for "extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship". He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1995.

Advertising controversy[edit]

Jerry Bailey was one of the first of five top jockeys to wear advertising patches in the Kentucky Derby, starting in 2004. They sued on First Amendment grounds, to be allowed to wear ad patches during the race. The ruling was issued on April 21, 2004, by U.S. District Judge John Heyburn in Louisville.

The patches, worth approximately $30,000 apiece, were legal in other Triple Crown states of New York and Maryland, but were argued by The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority that they might lead to corruption and violated racing tradition.


Jerry Bailey announced his retirement on January 19, 2006, at age 48, with his last race on January 28. His 5,892 wins which placed him 15th on the all-time list, and his mounts have earned more than $295 million, good for second all time. Pat Day leads with nearly $298 million. Bailey currently is involved in racing in a number of capacities, most notably worked as a commentator for ESPN at major televised races. Jerry is now on the NBC Sports Network covering Triple Crown races and Derby Prep races for them as a commentator.

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2000–2005) Peak
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2000 2
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2001 1
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2002 1
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2003 1
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2004 4
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2005 3
Preceded by
Bill Shoemaker
Jockeys' Guild President
Succeeded by
Gary L. Stevens


External links[edit]