Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Famous Queens Resident Series, Part XIX

Eddie Arcaro - The Triple Crown-winning jockey lived at the Homestead Hotel, a home for jockeys near the Kew Gardens railroad station. The building is now used as a nursing home. Eddie Arcaro (February 19, 1916 - November 4, 1997) was an American Thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame jockey who won more American Classic Races than any other jockey in history and is the only rider to have won the U.S. Triple Crown twice. He is widely regarded as the greatest jockey in the history of American Thoroughbred horse racing.

George Edward Arcaro was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of an impoverished taxi driver. Eventually nicknamed "Banana Nose" by his confreres, Arcaro won his first race in 1932 at the Agua Caliente racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico.

Eddie Arcaro won his first Kentucky Derby in 1938 aboard Lawrin. He is tied with Bill Hartack for most Derby wins at five, and has the most wins in the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes with six. He won the U.S. Triple Crown in 1941 on Whirlaway and again in 1948 on Citation.

Arcaro also won the Grade I Suburban Handicap eight times, the Wood Memorial Stakes nine times and the Jockey Club Gold Cup on ten occasions. In international competitions, at Woodbine Racetrack, Toronto, Arcaro won the 1953 Queen's Plate, Canada's most prestigious race and the oldest race in North America, and at Laurel Park Racecourse in Laurel, Maryland, the 1954 Washington, D.C. International against the best from Europe.

In 1953 Eddie Arcaro was voted the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, and in 1958 he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame

Active in jockey affairs, Arcaro was a driving force behind the creation of the Jockeys' Guild. He retired in 1962 because of severe bursitis in his arm. He ended his career having competed in 24,092 races and having won 4,779 with record setting earnings of $30,039,543. For a time he worked as a television commentator on racing and then as a public relations officer for the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, before retiring to a home in Miami, Florida.

Eddie Arcaro died in 1997. His body was cremated and his ashes were inurned in the columbarium at Miami's Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery.

Today, he is one of the most well known jockeys in history of horse racing.

Wikipedia Bio

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