Ruffian's Connections

Below are some short snippets on the people who made Ruffian's Racing career possible!

Jacinto Vasquez-Regular Jockey
Riding Career:1959-1996
Number of Mounts:37,392
Number of Winners:5,231
Winning Percentage:14%

J Vasquez Jacinto Vasquez was a leading apprentice rider in Panama before coming to the United States in 1960. He was based in New York for much of his career but won major stakes all over the country. Vasquez won on 14% of his mounts.

Jacinto Vasquez is best known as the regular rider of the great filly Ruffian, but he also rode champion fillies Genuine Risk, Princess Rooney, Revidere, and Christmas Past. His other champion mounts included Lemhi Gold, Smile, Manila, Risen Star, and Forego.

On two occasions Vasquez upset the legendary Secretariat: aboard Angle Light in the Wood Memorial; and with Onion in the Whitney. He also won two Kentucky Derbys, with Foolish Pleasure and with Genuine Risk, the second filly in history to win this coveted race.

Vasquez was the leading rider at Calder's winter meetings for five seasons. In 1967 he won six races on two individual cards at Atlantic City, including a six race sweep.

Known for riding the nation's best horses, in the last two decades of his career Vasquez won 268 stakes races; almost 50% of these were in graded stakes. Races he won included the Breeders' Cup Sprint, Spinster Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Champagne Stakes, Blue Grass Stakes, United Nations Handicap, Brooklyn Handicap, Kentucky Oaks, CCA Oaks, and the Arlington- Washington Futurity.

When he retired Jacinto Vasquez was the nation's 15th all-time winning rider. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Text from NMR Hall of Fame

Frank Whiteley, Jr- Trainer
Training Career:49 years (1936-84)
Stakes winners:35

In a career that covered nearly half a century, Frank Whiteley trained numerous stakes winners and four champions. He began his training career on Maryland's half-mile tracks and saddled his first stakes winner, Demobilize, in 1958.

Whiteley's first champion was Tom Rolfe, 1965's champion 3-year-old and winner of the Preakness and American Derby among others. Two years later he sent Damascus after Horse of the Year honors and victories in the Preakness, Belmont, and Woodward, defeating Buckpasser and Dr. Fager by 10 lengths.

For Mrs. E.H. Gerry Whiteley took over the training of Forego, who won a third Horse of the Year title in 1976 and Handicap title in 1977. But, Whiteley is best remembered as the trainer of the great filly Ruffian. She won ten consecutive races, including the New York Filly Triple Crown. Her success caused many to demand that she face the best colts and a match was arranged between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure. Ruffian was leading in this race when she suffered a catastrophic break down. She could not be saved.
Text from NMR Hall of Fame

Thoroughbred Greats Network

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 10:00 PM Posted by Liz

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