Born October 13, 1953 in Brush, Colorado, Pat Day had dreams of making his career on a horse. While in high school, he was a superb amateur wrestler, developing a record of 77-7 in his four years of wrasslin. His junior year he became State Champion, and was the runner up for his sophomore and senior years. Pat Day would then trade in the wrestling circle for a saddle and his singlet for spurs.
Out of high school, Day tried his luck on the rodeo circuit. Only 4-11 and 100 pounds, he had a hard time staying on the horse, and two years later he tried his luck as a jockey. He won his first race as Prescott Downs in Arizona during this year. This would mark the start of perhaps the best jockey to ever ride a horse. Pat Day has over 8,000 first place finishes, 6,000 second places and over 5,000 shows. He has won all sorts of awards for his actions, including four Eclipse awards (1984, 86, 87, and 91), the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (1985), and the Mike Venezia Award (1995). He was rightly elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.
Pat Day is a winner. He won the Preakness first in 1985, and then 4 more times after that. In 1994, Day almost won the coveted Triple Crown as he won both the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby in 1994. He won the Derby twice, and the Belmont Stakes in 89. Pat Day is the all time wins leader at the Churchill Downs racetrack. In 1997, Day rode Favorite Trick to eight straight wins, garnering the 1997 Horse of the Year trophy. He's won the Breeders' Cup Classic four times. On May 31, 2001 at Churchill Downs, day joined Laffit Pincay Jr. and Bill Shoemaker as the only North American jockeys to have won 8,000 races. On August 10, 2002, Day surpassed the retired Chris McCarron as the All-time earnings leader with a win at the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap at Saratoga. If he keeps on his current pace, Pat Day will surpass $300,000,000 in earnings in two years.
While I can't say anything about the man, he is a powerhouse in the world of horse racing. He overcame alcoholism and drug abuse early in his career to become one of the greatest jockeys ever. The only thing missing from his illustrious career is the near impossible Triple Crown. Even without the Triple Crown, one cannot deny the accomplishments that this still racing jockey has made.
HickokSports.com - Biography - Pat Day; Author: Ralph Hickok; Last Updated: Tuesday, 10-Jun-2003 11:06:42 PDT; http://www.hickoksports.com/biograph/daypat.shtml
Daily Racing Form - Jockey Profiles; http://www.drf2000.com/home/crown2001/kd/day.html
NMR Hall of Fame; http://hall.racingmuseum.org/jockey.asp?ID=179
PATRICK ALAN DAY; http://www.nyra.com/yearbook/jockey.asp?id=12
Pat DAy Sets New Money Earning Record; Author: Cindy Pierson Dulay; http://www.horse-races.net/library/article-patdayrecord.shtml
National Wrestling Hall of Fame; http://www.wrestlinghalloffame.org/news/2001.winter/oa.htm