06/01/2010 12:00AM

Elliott named Gomez Award winner


Stewart Elliott, who was born in Toronto but has done the vast majority of his riding in the United States, is this year's recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award.

Elliott, 45, will be honored here on Woodbine Oaks Day, June 13.

Avelino Gomez, one of the most popular and colorful riders ever to compete in Ontario, died as the result of a spill here in the 1980 Oaks. The award in his memory is presented annually to a rider who is Canadian-born, Canadian-raised, or who has competed regularly in Canada for more than five years and has made significant contributions to the industry. A life-size statue of Gomez overlooks Woodbine's walking ring and a miniature replica is presented to each year's Gomez Award recipient.

Elliot won his first race in 1981 and reached the 4,000 win plateau at Philadelphia Park on Jan. 18, 2009. Elliott also had found himself in the spotlight in 2004 as the regular rider of Smarty Jones, whom he guided to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

His last extended campaign here came in 1987, when he won 22 races from 322 mounts, but he did ship in a couple of times in 2009 and guided Milwaukee Appeal to victory in the 2004 Woodbine Oaks.

Through Monday, Elliot had recorded 4,185 winners from 26,883 career mounts for earnings of more than $75 million. His current base is Philadelphia Park, where he is third in the standings with 61 winners heading into Tuesday's program.

Former winners of the Gomez Award who are active members of Woodbine's jockey colony include David Clark, Richard Dos Ramos, and Robert Landry.