10/18/2011 11:23AM

Larry Saumell, former rider and Jockeys' Guild rep, dies at 54


Larry Saumell, a former rider and representative for the Jockeys’ Guild, died in his sleep Monday night in Maryland at the age of 54.

Saumell served as a regional manager for the Jockeys Guild following his retirement from the saddle in 1999 and was working as an agent for jockey Gary Bacchas at Laurel at the time of his death.

“Larry has had health issues with his heart for a while and just died peacefully in his sleep last night,” said Saumell’s brother Frank. “He recently started working as a jockeys agent for the first time, was just learning the ropes a little bit, and was doing pretty well. Larry was a good rider. He rode for some pretty good people and won over 2,000 races, but unfortunately his career was always slowed by injuries.”

Saumell rode from 1973 through 1999, winning 2098 races. His mounts earned purses totaling nearly $25 million. Saumell, who rode primarily on the New Jersey, Maryland, Florida and Kentucky circuits, recorded over 250 stakes wins, the most important of which may have been his victory aboard Cefis for trainer Woody Stephens in the 1988 Pennsylvania Derby.

Funeral arrangements for Saumell, who is survived by his son, Lazarus, were still pending, according to his brother.