Mike Venezia

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Mike Venezia
Occupation Jockey
Born May 5, 1945
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died October 13, 1988
Career wins 2,313
Major racing wins

Stars and Stripes Handicap (1971)
Hempstead Handicap (1971)
Carter Handicap (1972)
Ladies Handicap (1972, 1977)
Queens County Handicap (1972)
Firenze Handicap (1973)
Sanford Stakes (1973)
Saratoga Special Stakes (1973, 1974, 1980)
Remsen Stakes (1974)
Diana Handicap (1975)
Gotham Stakes (1975, 1982)
Washington Park Handicap (1977)
Alabama Stakes (1978)
Sport Page Breeders' Cup Handicap (1978)
Queen Charlotte Handicap (1978)
Mount Vernon Stakes (1979)
Nassau County Handicap (1980)
Secretariat Stakes (1981)
Busher Stakes (1982)
Excelsior Handicap (1982)
Demoiselle Stakes (1983)
East View Stakes (1983)
Arlington Handicap (1984)
Bertram F. Bongard Stakes (1985)
Aqueduct Handicap (1986)
Discovery Handicap (1986)
Stuyvesant Handicap (1987)

International race wins:
Canadian International Stakes (1980)
Mike Venezia Memorial Award
Significant horses
Sensational, White Star Line, Majestic Light,
Air Forbes Won, Who's For Dinner

Michael Joseph Venezia (May 5, 1945 – October 13, 1988) was an American Thoroughbred horse racing jockey who was killed in a racing accident.

Venezia had been a jockey for twenty-five years and rode his first winner in 1964. He had ridden 2,313 winners when he was thrown from his horse, Mr. Walter K. and trampled to death by a trailing horse during a race at Belmont Park. The New York Times reported he had recently said that the highlight of his career came on December 7, 1964 when he won six races in one day at Aqueduct Racetrack. [1]

Active in jockey affairs, Venezia served as president of the Jockeys' Guild from 1975 to 1981.

Mike Venezia was survived by his wife, Helene, son, Michael Edward, and daughter, Alison.

Michael Venezia was actually named Frederick Venezia (by tradition, after his paternal grandfather) when he was born. But his uncle, Michael Venezia, a Sergeant in the US Army was killed in action while fighting in Germany on April 18, 1945, so when the telegram announcing the tragic event arrived just after the birth, the name was changed to Michael in honor of the fallen uncle.

Annually since 1989, the New York Racing Association provides the Mike Venezia Memorial Award to a rider who exemplifies extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship.


Preceded by
Walter Blum
Jockeys' Guild President
Succeeded by
Bill Shoemaker