04/12/2015 6:16PM

Luzzi receives George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Jockey Mike Luzzi was a gracious recipient of the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award at Santa Anita on Sunday, taking the opportunity to state he is anxious to return from a lengthy absence caused by injury.

Luzzi has not ridden since November, when he broke a leg and fractured his pelvis in an accident in the paddock at Aqueduct.

“This is the best day I’ve ever had when I’m not riding,” he said during a brief winner’s circle ceremony. “It was a shock to win the award.”

Turning to a group of Southern California riders, some active and others retired, surrounding him, Luzzi said, “I’ll see you in the jockey’s room.”

Luzzi, 45, has won 3,420 races in his career and won the Eclipse Award as the outstanding apprentice of 1989.

He said the Woolf Award had special meaning since his grandfather, Buddy Raines, knew George Woolf, who died as a result of injuries sustained in a spill at Santa Anita in 1946.

The Woolf Award is presented annually by Santa Anita and the Jockey’s Guild in honor of a rider for accomplishments on the track and for character shown off the track.

Three former winners of the award were present for Sunday’s ceremony – retired jockey Manuel Ycaza (1964) and active riders Gary Stevens (1996) and Alex Solis (1997).

William Cacho More than 1 year ago
Congratulations Mike and family!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mike is an excellent rider. Given the horse to work with he will get the job done ! Congrats on winning the George Woolf award Mike, well deserved.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Congratulations Mike luzzi...but what can you say about the new york jockey colony .i heard that the two Ortiz brothers and M Franco live together.so that's 3 jockeys or almost half the field in most races at aqueduct ridden by friends or relatives who live together. seems like a conflict to me.brothers or close relatives should not be allowed to ride horses in the same race.they can crowd out others or go after a pace horse setting up the other ridden by his brother or relative.or even keep horses pined in.
Tim Sr. More than 1 year ago
You gotta be kidding me? If you're that jaded you need to go follow tennis or learn how to paint.
Tim Sr. More than 1 year ago
By the way, Mike Luzzi is the consummate professional, a great journeyman and an asset to the sport.
Chuck Berger More than 1 year ago
Having spent over fifty years around the racetrack as a hot walker, groom, foreman and a long time owner, I can only tell you that if two or three jockeys want to hatch a nefarious plan, they don't have to live together. As a full time bettor who continues to profit from my handicapping, I take into consideration jockeys and trainers in addition to the horse themselves.Learn the methods of the trainer ( his do's and don'ts) and you will profit handsomely.
G More than 1 year ago
Congratulations to Mike Luzzi.
Bill Kaup More than 1 year ago
Congratulations, Mike! Hope to see you back in the stirrups soon.
Jeff Wilson More than 1 year ago
Why has Mike Smith never won this award?
G More than 1 year ago
Mike Smith won the George Woolf award in 2000.
radnor87 More than 1 year ago
He has always been a very solid jockey and a steady, classy person. Very happy to see him get this award . Hoping to see him healthy Nd back I the saddle soon.
Joe Cacciolfi More than 1 year ago
CONGRATULATIONS LUZ VERY GOOD JOCK,VERY GOOD PERSON TOUGH COMPETITOR GEORGE WOOLF WOULD BE HAPPY LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR RETURN