Hall of Fame jockey Milo Valenzuela dead at 74
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) -- Hall of Fame jockey Ismael "Milo" Valenzuela, who twice won the Kentucky Derby and rode five-time Horse of the Year Kelso in the 1960s, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 74.
Valenzuela's daughter, Diana, told officials at the National Racing Hall of Fame and Museum in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., that her father died at his home near Santa Anita Park surrounded by his children, grandchildren and other family members.
Valenzuela rode from 1951 to 1980, winning 2,545 races and earning purses of more than $20 million.
In 1958, Valenzuela won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes aboard Tim Tam. They lost the Triple Crown after finishing second to Cavan in the Belmont Stakes.
Ten years later, Valenzuela and Forward Pass finished second to Dancer's Image in the Derby. Dancer's Image was disqualified and placed last for a positive drug test, the only DQ in the Derby's 135-year history. That resulted in Forward Pass being credited with the victory.
Valenzuela and Forward Pass went on to win the Preakness, but their Triple Crown bid was dashed in the Belmont when they finished second, beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Stage Door Johnny.
Valenzuela was Kelso's regular rider, and together they teamed to win 22 of 35 races, including 19 stakes. He also rode such Hall of Fame horses as Affectionately, Cicada, Native Diver, Round Table and Searching.
Valenzuela won more than 130 major races, including the Arlington Classic, the Arlington-Washington Futurity, the Blue Grass Stakes, and the Coaching Club American Oaks.
Born in McNary, Texas, on Christmas Eve 1934, Valenzuela was the third of 22 children. He competed in match races before he turned 10 and gained experience riding quarterhorses before switching to thoroughbreds. He won his first race on April 8, 1951, at Rillito Park in Tucson, Ariz.
In 2008, Valenzuela was elected to the Hall of Fame by the historic review committee. He was unable to travel to Saratoga Springs, so he was inducted at Santa Anita, the first time an induction had taken place outside New York state.
Funeral arrangements were pending.