chris antley

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2014 Hall of Fame nominations are out! We’ve got four great jockeys up for a spot, competing with four horses and two trainers. Nominees are:

  • Chris Antley - 1985 US Champion Jockey by wins, jockey of Kentucky Derby winners Strike the Gold and Charismatic 
  • Garrett Gomez - 2007 and 2008 Eclipse Champion Jockey, 2006 - 2009 Champion Jockey by earnings, winner of 13 Breeder’s Cup races, jockey of Midnight Lute, Rags to Riches, Blame, and Blind Luck
  • Craig Perret - 1967 Champion Apprentice Jockey by earnings, 1990 Eclipse Champion Jockey, winner of five Breeder’s Cup races and two American classics, jockey of Bet Twice, Unbridled, Strike the Gold, and Pine Bluff
  • Alex Solis - Winner of three Breeder’s Cup races and one American classic, plus the 2004 Dubai World Cup, jockey of Snow Chief, Pleasantly Perfect, Victory Gallop, and Kona Gold

Charismatic - 1999 Kentucky Derby winner

Won the 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness stakes before finishing third in the Belmont.

Charismatic did well as a two-year-old, but was placed in claiming races by his owner twice. Once, only three months before the Kentucky Derby.

In the gallop out after the Belmont stakes, his jockey tried to pull him down after feeling something off with his front left leg.  He then held the leg off the ground, in hopes of keeping the horse from injuring himself further.  Charismatic had two breaks, condylar and sesamoid fractures.

He underwent surgery, and his racing career ended with 5 wins, 2 places and 4 shows in 17 career starts.

This moment was selected by racing fans as the 1999 NTRA “Moment of the Year“

U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt, (1999)

United States Horse of the Year, (1999)

Be thankful for defeat. Be thankful for failure. Be thankful for frustration, for heartbreak, for foolish mistakes, for frailty, for hard luck, for doubt, for longing.

These are the things that gauge the robustness of the challenges we choose, that sound the depths of our bravery and fortitude, that measure our worth. Only those intimate with the pain of loss feel in full the sweet euphoria of triumph.

I am grateful that I waited 37 years, since I was a little girl, for this day. I am grateful for all the brave horses who tried and failed and scattered our hopes. When American Pharoah bent his exquisitely beautiful body into the homestretch at Belmont today, scorching fractions faster and faster as his jockey sat taut-armed on his back and 90,000 fans shouted him home, it was those horses, and those 37 years, that made his staggering, unbelievable accomplishment meaningful. They were the leavening of this overwhelming joy, as essential to it as this magnificent creature.

Thank you to the star-crossed Spectacular Bid, to the crying jockey Chris Antley, to the gallant little Smarty Jones, to all the others. American Pharoah, welcome to greatness.

—  Laura Hillenbrand on American Pharoah’s Triple Crown win