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Ferrer wins 2018 George Woolf Award

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Tom Keyser
Jockey Jose Ferrer will be honored with the 2018 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Veteran rider Jose Ferrer, winner of 4,214 races, is the winner of the 2018 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, it was announced Monday by Santa Anita, which has presented the award annually since 1950.

Ferrer, 53, is currently riding at Tampa Bay Downs, where he has been based since returning to action after being sidelined for 2 1/2 months after being injured in an accident last September at Delaware Park. He is currently seventh in the standings. Ferrer has ridden primarily at Monmouth Park and in south Florida, though he scored his biggest victory at Saratoga, in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes in 2000.

His other significant wins include the Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct, W.L. McKnight at Calder, and both the Iselin and Salvator Mile at Monmouth. He ranks 62nd all-time in career victories.

Ferrer has won more than 200 races in a calendar year three times, and won five races on a single card early in his career, in 1983 at the Meadowlands. A native of Puerto Rico, he has been based on the East Coast since 1982.

Ferrer was one of five finalists for the award, which is voted on by his peers, members of the Jockeys’ Guild. He beat out Alex Birzer, Javier Castellano, Rodney Prescott, and Joe Talamo.

“It means the world to me to have the guys I’ve ridden with throughout my career vote for me,” Ferrer said in a press release put out by Santa Anita. “It is an unbelievable feeling. When I learned I had won, I was up all night with my wife, just to thank God for this opportunity and for my peers to consider me worthy of this award. It’s a privilege and an honor to be with all those great riders and Hall of Famers who have won the Woolf Award.

“I give so much credit to God and to my wife, Steffi. After I got married and started to get closer to God, things started to turn around for the best and more doors started opening … I see things differently now, and I believe you just have to keep trying in life and be positive.”

Ferrer has four children.

The Woolf Award honors achievements to racing both on and off the track. It is named for the late, Hall of Fame rider who died in a racing accident at Santa Anita in 1946. The date that Ferrer will receive his award has yet to be determined, but the award usually is presented at Santa Anita in late spring.

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