November 29, 2007

Bill Hartack has died

Bill Hartack was one of only two Jockeys to have won the Kentucky Derby five times.   The only other was Eddie Arcaro.

Hartack won his first Derby with a little help from Bill Shoemaker, the jockey riding Gallant Man. Shoemaker, who was leading down the stretch, misjudged the finish line and stood up in the saddle in an early celebration, allowing Hartack and Iron Liege to slip past and win by a nose.

In other Triple Crown races, Hartack won the Preakness three times -- with Fabius in 1956, Northern Dancer in 1964 and Majestic Prince in 1969 -- and the Belmont Stakes once, with Celtic Ash in 1960.

Hartack rode until 1974 in the United States, winning 4,272 races. He later rode in Hong Kong before retiring in 1981.

"One of the reasons I left the U.S. was that I knew once I could get away from the American press, I would be very, very happy because they are so stupid," he was quoted as saying shortly after he arrived in Hong Kong.

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