05/18/2017 11:57AM

Carmouche wins Mike Venezia Award

Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Kendrick Carmouche

Kendrick Carmouche, a leading rider at Parx for years who has endeared himself to New York racing fans with his aggressive riding style, has been voted the Mike Venezia Award, the New York Racing Association announced Thursday.

The Venezia Award is given to the jockey who exemplifies the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship displayed by Venezia, who died from injuries suffered in a spill at Belmont in 1988.

The award is voted on by fans. Carmouche was selected over a group that included Joe Bravo, Javier Castellano, Rajiv Maragh, and Cornelio Velasquez.

“As respected as Mike Venezia was, I was just pleased to even be nominated for the award," Carmouche told NYRA publicity. "To be able to actually win the Venezia Award is a great honor, and I'd like to thank all those who voted for me. My dad always told me, 'Respect everybody, and everybody is going to respect you.' I'm 33 years old, and I can say that advice works in life. I just try to put a smile on people's faces and make them happy. I think that's what life is about."

Carmouche is the son of former jockey Sylvester Carmouche Jr. His brother Sylvester III also rode professionally.

Kendrick Carmouche was the dominant rider at Parx, winning seven riding titles, including four straight (2008-11), at the Bensalem, Pa. track.

He began riding full time on the NYRA circuit in 2015. He was the third-leading rider at both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 Aqueduct inner-track meets. In 2016, he rode 124 winners at NYRA tracks, totaling more than $8.2 million in purse earnings.

The award will be presented on Memorial Day at Belmont.