Page 5 - June 2008 The Game
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Canada’s Thoroughbred Racing Newspaper The Game, June 2008 5 Jack Lauzon to Receive 2008 Avelino Gomez Award
Jockey Jack Lauzon, one of the most respected riders to ever compete in Canadian racing circles,
“I remember I cried like a baby when he died,” admitted Lauzon. “He was so respected by everyone. He was a great jockey.”
Lauzon. “One day, I’d like to get back and work horses again, but right now, I love being an agent.”
Longden, Sandy Hawley, Don MacBeth, Chris Rogers, Jeff Fell, Lloyd Duffy, Hugo Dittfach, Robin Platts, Larry Attard, Don Seymour, David Gall, Richard Grubb, Irwin Driedger, David Clark, Jim McKnight, Chris Loseth, Richard Dos Ramos, Robert Landry, Francine Villeneuve, Sam Krasner, John LeBlanc Sr. and last year’s recipient George Ho Sang, as Gomez honourees.
Information courtesy of Woodbine Entertainment Group Media Dept.
was named the 2008 recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award.
For all the memorable times, Lauzon’s name will forever be associated with one of the most frightening racing incidents the sport has seen.
In total, Lauzon won 1,619
lifetime races, and 72 stakes, including the Breeders’ Stakes in 1994 with Basqueian, the 1991 Mazarine Breeders’ Cup aboard Hope For A Breeze and the 1991 Toronto Cup Stakes with Rainbows For Life.
Born December 5, 1961 in Welland, Ontario, Lauzon embarked on his riding career in 1981, before hanging up his tack in 2007 to take on the role of jockey’s agent.
It came in 1996 in Macau when he was involved in a dramatic spill, one that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
Of all his honours and accomplish- ments, which included two Queen’s Plate scores (1988 with Sam-Son Farm’s Regal Intention and 1994 aboard Frank Stronach’s Basqueian), Lauzon considers the Gomez Award as one of the most important.
Remarkably, on April 9, 1999, Lauzon rode the  lly Be Prosperous, his  rst mount in over two and a half years. He characterized the moment as a “greater thrill than winning the Queen’s Plate.”
“It still hasn’t really sunk in yet,” offered Lauzon. “It’s a great feeling. I just hope I don’t get too emotional during my speech.”
Lauzon joins Ron Turcotte, John
“This would be near the top, if not at the very top of the best things that happened in my career,” said Lauzon. “I didn’t know Avelino, but I idolized him and Sandy Hawley. I wish he was there when I started riding. He would have been someone that could have taught me so much.”
Less than one month later, he teamed with Essa’s Secret to record his  rst score since the accident.
The coveted Gomez Award is
given to the person, Canadian-born, Canadian-raised or regular rider in the country for more than  ve years, who has made signi cant contributions to the sport.
“If it wasn’t for my fans and all my friends on the backstretch, I wouldn’t have come back. They were great motivation for me.
“To this day, when I see someone in a wheelchair, it hits me. That could have been me. I was very lucky.”
Presented annually on Woodbine Oaks day (Sunday, June 8 in 2008) at Woodbine, the honour is in memory
of Gomez, one of the sport’s most heralded and revered performers. The Cuban-born Gomez died of complica- tions after a three-horse accident in the 1980 Canadian Oaks.
Before he got back in the irons
after his high-pro le injury, Lauzon tested the waters as a jockey’s agent, representing current Woodbine jockeys Constant Montpellier and Jerry Baird.
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Now, he holds the books for Toronto oval riders Garry Cruise and David Garcia.
“I do miss riding, but not so much that I think about it every day,” said
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The son of Northern Dancer trained by the legendary Vincent O’Brien retired from racing in 1985 after an
11 race career that saw victories in
six races, which included the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the Eclipse and the
Irish Champion Stakes and runner-up positions in the Prix du Jockey-Club and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
At stud he proved phenomenal, with 106 European Group 1 winners to
his tally, including 23 winners of 33 Classics in Britain, Ireland, and France. Sadler’s Wells was crowned champion sire for the 14th time in 2004 and this dominance was  nally broken by the outstanding Danehill in 2005.
His legacy will remain dominate with his sons, most notably at present being the 2001 Derby winner, Galileo, 2002 winner High Chaparral, (also twice winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf) and Montjeu, winner of the Irish and French Derby along with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
With crops still to race and strong representation in the Derby and the
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