Longden, John Eric

▪ 2004
“Johnny” 
      British-born American jockey and horse trainer (b. Feb. 14, 1907, Wakefield, Yorkshire, Eng.—d. Feb. 14, 2003, Banning, Calif.), won the Triple Crown aboard Count Fleet in 1943 and was the only person to both ride and train a Kentucky Derby winner. When Longden was five years old, his family moved to Alberta. Although he had his first race—which was also his first win—in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1927, he worked mostly in Canada until 1935, when he began to ride full time in the U.S. He rode Count Fleet to victory in 16 of 21 races, including all three of the 1943 Triple Crown races, winning the Kentucky Derby by 3 lengths, the Preakness Stakes by 8, and the Belmont Stakes by 25. In 1956 Longden broke the record of 4,870 career wins in Thoroughbred racing, held by Sir Gordon Richards, and he was inducted into the National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame in 1958. His last race was the San Juan Capistrano Handicap in March 1966, when he rode George Royal to an exciting come-from-behind victory. He retired with 6,032 wins out of 32,413 mounts, a record that stood until Bill Shoemaker broke it in 1970. After retiring as a jockey, Longden began a career as a trainer, and in 1969 one of his horses, Majestic Prince, won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. He retired from training in 1982, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association honoured him with a Special Eclipse Award in 1994.

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Universalium. 2010.

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