05/14/2009 11:00PM

Passmore, former rider and steward, dies


Bill Passmore, who won 3,531 races as a jockey while largely based in Maryland, and then was a steward there, died on Thursday night. He was 76.

Passmore rode from 1948 until 1986. He never won the Preakness, but was associated with several top Maryland runners, notably Cure the Blues, Jameela, Twixt, and the gallant Port Conway Lane.

"He was a great friend of mine and quite a rider," said trainer King Leatherbury, another Maryland mainstay. "He was a super rider, very underrated. He was my kind of jock, a sit still and heady rider. Billy could get a horse to relax and could get run out of horses."

Passmore became a steward for the Maryland Racing Commission as soon as he retired from riding. He served as a steward at Laurel, Pimlico, and Timonium for two decades, retiring in December 2007.

Passmore is survived by his wife, Charlene, and seven children.

A memorial service for Passmore is scheduled June 10 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Laurel, Md.