10/18/2008 12:00AM

The legend among Legends is Hawley


ARCADIA, Calif. - On Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita, Sandy Hawley was THE legend among Legends.

Riding in a unique race that brought together eight Hall of Fame jockeys in a pari-mutuel race, Hawley rode Tribal Chief ($7.80) to a front-running win over seven furlongs in a race titled The Living Legends.

Hawley recorded the 6,450th win of his career in his first mount since 1998. "I can't say I won 6,449 anymore," Hawley said. "It really was a lot of fun."

Tribal Chief won by 6 1/2 lengths over Dee Dee's Legacy, ridden by Jerry Bailey. Gary Stevens rode Scandalous to a third-place finish and was followed by the mounts of Pat Day, Julie Krone, Jacinto Vasquez, Chris McCarron, and Angel Cordero Jr.

"Pulling up, everyone said, ‘That was so fun,’" Krone said.

Hawley, 59, admitted to a case of butterflies in the morning. "I was getting a little anxious on the drive over here, but once I got here I calmed down," he said.

Hawley turned for home with a lead of more than a length. He cracked Tribal Chief with the whip in early stretch, and got a response. He was asked by friends in the winner's circle if he whistled to Tribal Chief to urge him. "I was too tired to whistle," he said.

The event was well-received by fans, who lined the rails surrounding the paddock with the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for the Santa Anita Handicap.

Before the race, the eight riders, who have now combined to win 49,164 races, were introduced individually in the winner's circle to an adoring crowd, amny of whom were snapping photos.

There were moments of hi-jinx among the veterans. As Cordero was introduced, Bailey rushed over and grabbed a chair for the 65-year-old Cordero, who took the bait and promptly sat down for the rest of the pre-race ceremony. When Laffit Pincay, Jr., who served as a dignitary to the event, was introduced the eight riders all bowed.