01/26/2011 4:44PM

Jacob Radosevich overcomes brother's death to become a jockey


Jacob Radosevich, the youngest of a long line of horsemen spanning three generations of the Radosevich family, won his first race as a jockey at Beulah Park on Tuesday when he guided Double Why to a five-length victory in the fourth race. Double Why is owned and trained by Jacob’s father, Jake Radosevich.

Jacob visited the winners’ circle again two races later when he won with Fair ‘n Warmer, who is trained by his father and owned by Desperado Stables Inc. He kept his roll going Wednesday by winning the first race at Beulah Park on another horse owned and trained by his father.

Jacob’s debut as a rider comes just over five years after the death of his older brother, Joshua Radosevich, who was critically injured in a November 2005 spill at Beulah Park. Jacob, 18, wanted to begin his riding career sooner – his late brother began riding at age 17 – but waited at the request of his parents.

“My wife, Shelley, and I wanted him to wait til he was 18,” Jake Radosevich said. “It takes a lot of courage to be a jockey, but he overcame the loss of his brother and wanted to carry on in his memory.”

Jacob rode his first race at Beulah on Jan. 18 for trainer Michael York. His first win came in only his 10th mount.

“I’m on could nine right now,” Jacob said.

Jake Radosevich, 46, began training in 1985 after helping his father, trainer Joe Radosevich, around the family farm since childhood. He has won 1,088 races to date.

Shelley trained from 2003 until 2006, and helps Jake with the stable at Beulah Park.

Jake and Shelley’s daughter, Jamie also trained from 2005 to 2007. She now works as an assistant trainer at Fair Grounds.

Jake’s father, Joe Radosevich, began training Quarter Horses in the mid-1960’s, then started training Thoroughbreds in 1979 at the now defunct Sportsman’s Park in Illinois. In addition to Jake, Joe Radosevich’s other sons, Joey J. and Jeffrey, also became trainers.

Joey trained from 1983 until 2007 and currently has a farm in Oklahoma.

Jeffrey was a successful jockey, winning 1,140 races and multiple meet titles from 1980 until suffering a broken leg at Thistledown in August 1993.

He began training in November 1993 and won his first race that December at Thistledown. He has since won 1,264 races.
Jeffrey was the leading trainer at Thistledown two years in a row several seasons back and has won nine meet titles at the Cleveland-area track.