05/21/2003 11:00PM

Migliore wins Venezia Award


ELMONT, N.Y. - Jockey Richard Migliore has been selected as the recipient of the 2003 Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the New York Racing Association announced Thursday. Migliore will be honored during a prerace ceremony Monday at Belmont Park.

The Venezia Award was instituted by NYRA to honor riders who "exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship." Venezia was killed in a spill at Belmont on Oct. 13, 1988.

Migliore, 39, received the most votes from fans, turf writers, and jockeys among four nominees for the award. Also nominated were Patricia Cooksey, Aaron Gryder, and John Velazquez.

"I'm really, really very happy and honored to win it," Migliore said between races Thursday. "Mike was a good friend of mine, and somebody that had a very positive influence on me as a young rider and as a person. It gives me an opportunity to pay tribute to a person I thought a great deal of."

Migliore won the Eclipse Award as the nation's leading apprentice in 1981. He has won more than 3,600 races and his horses have earned more than $116 million in purses.