02/20/2007 1:00AM

Court wins Woolf Award


Jon Court, a veteran of nearly 27 years of riding and the winner of more than 3,000 races, is the winner of the 2007 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, it was announced Tuesday by Santa Anita.

The Woolf Award, voted on by the nation's jockeys, has been presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950 to honor a rider's skills and integrity. Court, 47, is an unfailingly polite man who also has won a number of major races and has been a mainstay on the Southern California circuit since relocating here in 2004. He will receive his award at Santa Anita on March 25.

Court has won riding titles at Oaklawn Park, Hoosier Park, and Birmingham Park, and is the all-time winningest rider at Ellis Park, where he won five straight titles from 1987 to 1991. His richest win came aboard Fleetstreet Dancer in the 2003 Japan Cup Dirt. His biggest wins in California have come in the Kilroe Mile and Santa Margarita Handicap, both Grade 1 races at Santa Anita.

"Winning the Woolf Award is a dream come true," Court said. "Just to be part of such an elite group of riders is far beyond any honor I could ever imagine achieving.

"Early on in my career I was taken by the definition of the award itself," Court said. "The fact that it recognizes those with high integrity and those who give back as well as those who represent themselves well as a rider and as an individual in their personal life makes it very gratifying."

The Woolf Award is named for the late George Woolf, best known for riding Seabiscuit in the celebrated match race with War Admiral in 1938 at Pimlico.