05/04/2011 2:04PM

Avelino Gomez Award goes to Emile Ramsammy

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Emile Ramsammy, who was born in Trinidad and has been riding in Ontario since 1991, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award.

Presented annually on Woodbine Oaks Day, the Gomez Award is given to a jockey who is Canadian-born, was Canadian-raised, or has been a regular rider in the country for more than five years and has made significant contributions to the sport.

Avelino Gomez, one of the most colorful and popular riders in Ontario racing history, died from injuries suffered during a three-horse accident in the 1980 Oaks.

A lifesize statue of Gomez overlooks Woodbine’s walking ring and a miniature replica is presented to each year’s award recipient.

Ramsammy, 48, had compiled a lifetime North American record of 2117 wins, 2067 seconds and 2009 thirds for earnings of more than $82 million from 16,399 mounts heading into Wednesday evening’s program at Woodbine. His 141 stakes wins include Queen’s Plates with Victory Cooley in 1996 and with Edenwold in 2006, and 29 wins in graded stakes.

Ramsammy took home Sovereign Awards as Canada’s outstanding rider in both 1996 and 1997 after winning Woodbine riding titles with 170 wins and 175 wins during those campaigns.

Previous recipients of the Gomez Award include Sandy Hawley, Ron Turcotte, the late Johnny Longden, and the late Don MacBeth.
Stewart Elliott was last year’s honoree.