02/21/2005 1:00AM

Sibille named Woolf Award winner


Ray Sibille, who rode 4,264 winners in a 35-year career that ended last year, has been named the winner of the 2005 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. The award is presented by Santa Anita and is voted on by riders throughout the country, reflecting career success and personal character.

Sunday, Hall of Fame jockeys Laffit Pincay Jr. and Chris McCarron, both of whom are Woolf Award winners, tallied the ballots and then called Sibille at his home in Sunset, La., with the results.

"I guess this puts me up there in the major leagues," Sibille said. "It's great to be recognized by your fellow riders."

Sibille will be honored in a winner's circle ceremony at Santa Anita in March.

Sibille, 52, rode throughout the Midwest and on the West Coast. His biggest win came in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in 1988 aboard Great Communicator. He retired in July, citing hip replacement surgery as a factor.

Woolf died as a result of injuries suffered in a race in January 1946. A top rider in his era, he rode Seabiscuit to victory in a match race against War Admiral at Pimlico in 1938.