Thursday, October 23, 2008
Hall of Fame Jockey Don Brumfield Named to Gulfstream Steward Stand
Don Brumfield, whose 36-year riding career culminated in Hall of Fame induction, will be in the steward stand at the upcoming Gulfstream Park meeting.
He will join Bernie Hettel as an association steward; Kevin Scheen is expected to return as the state steward.
“The presence of a Hall of Fame jockey with the standing that Don Brumfield enjoys in the industry furthers Gulfstream Park’s reputation for integrity,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Bill Murphy.
Mr. Brumfield became a steward shortly after his retirement, taking his first job as a judge at Hialeah in 1989. He subsequently served in the stands at River Downs, Sam Houston and the Fair Grounds.
“It will be great working with Bernie at Gulfstream Park,” Mr. Brumfield said. “We’ve known each other a long time and we have a great relationship.”
A native of Nicholasville, Ky., a suburb of Lexington, he primarily rode the Kentucky circuit although his first victory came Aug. 2, 1954 – as a 16-year-old – at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park. The horse, named Profizano, was trained by his father, Edgar.
Mr. Brumfield rode in 33,222 races, winning 4,572, taking the 1966 Kentucky Derby and Preakness aboard Kauai King, a day after he had won the Kentucky Oaks aboard Native Street, and the 1968 Florida Derby aboard Forward Pass.
His Oaks-Derby same-year double, a feat accomplished only six times over the 134-year history of the two races, gave birth to one of racing’s most memorable lines. Shortly after dismounting from Kauai King, the self-effacing rider proclaimed: “I’m the happiest hillbilly hardboot in the world.”
A bout with encephalitis, which hit two days before Forward Pass’ Blue Grass victory, cost Mr. Brumfield a chance for a second Kentucky Derby victory. Milo Valenzuela took over the mount in the Blue Grass, and was back to ride that Calumet horse in the Kentucky Derby. Forward Pass finished second, but became the only elevated winner of the Kentucky Derby upon the disqualification of Dancer’s Image.
Mr. Brumfield’s other top mounts were Alysheba, Our Mims, Gold Beauty, Old Hat, Annihilate ‘Em, Bring Out the Band, Northernette and Just a Game. As a 50-year-old he took the Shadwell Turf Mile aboard Niccolo Polo in 1988. His mounts had earned $43.55 million when he retired the next year.
He won 16 riding titles at Churchill Downs and 12 at Keeneland. At the time of his retirement he had won a then-record 925 races at Churchill Downs.
In addition to his 1996 induction into racing’s Hall of Fame, Mr. Brumfield was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997 and was honored for his ability and character in 1988 when he was named recipient of the George Woolf Memorial Award.
He has residences in Louisville, Ky., and Hollywood, Fla.,
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