Had it not been Laffit Pincay Jr.’s more than nine thousand wins, Bill Shoemaker would probably continue leading the list of jockeys in world horse racing with the highest number of wins ever. William Lee Shoemaker, Bill’s original name, led thoroughbred racing by 8833 race wins until 1999 when he was overtaken by Pincay who briefly led it by 9,530 and is now being led by Russell Baze, at 11,442.
Bill Shoemaker redefined the skill of horse riding with such an incredibly towering number of race wins with a career that spanned for entire four decades, starting from 1949 up till 1990. Bill Shoemaker’s journey to becoming one of the finest jockey’s of all times found its inception right when he was born out of an abnormal birth at a fragile 2 ½ pounds. Reportedly his short stint inside a shoebox to keep him warm and help him survive led everyone to address him by the name, “The Shoe”, that later became the name he was renowned by.
Owning to his abnormal birth, Bill’s height and weight suffered extensively and limited his height at a mere 4 feet 11 inches and his weight lingered on around less than 45 hence allowing him a thriving career as a jockey. As a jockey, Bill raced his first victory soon after he started racing professionally having turned 18. His career was so flooded with victories aboard fine horses that he was awarded the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award within two years of his racing along with landing the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1981. Intermittently, he was also awarded the Big Sport of Turfdom Award in 1969 and the Eclipse Award of Merit in 1981.
In his entire career of approximately nine thousand race victories, Bill Shoemaker won 11 Triple Crown races, irony being the Crown always eluded him. Of the most crucial wins, his 1986 Kentucky Derby win aboard Ferdinand was the most memorable as Bill became the oldest jockey ever winning it at 54. Soon followed was Shoemaker’s pair with Ferdinand in Breeder’s Classic winning it against Alysheba and grabbing the Horse of the Year award.
Along with the legendary fast runner, Silky Sullivan, Bill also rode Spectacular Bid, world #3 on Blood-Horse magazine’s 100 top thoroughbreds. Bill won the Kentucky Derby four times and the Belmont Stakes, five times. He won the Preakness only twice and Breeder’s Classic only once. Amongst his most challenging wins, he won the Clement L. Hirsch four times, Del Mar Futurity six times, the Santa Anita Derby eight times and the Santa Anita Handicap a staggering eleven times.
In all, Shoemaker started in 40,350 races and retired from racing with the Mike VeneZia Memorial Award. He later lived a brief career as a trainer with 90 wins out of 714 starts.
Bill Shoemaker is a Hall of Fame inductee and his career can now be easily explored through a virtual gaming platform that Horse Racing Simulation brings to the fore for the thoroughbred racing enthusiasts who wish to experience jockeying without any demographical or financial limitations. The online free race games on www.horseracegame.com feature all horse racing aspects in 3D simulation graphics that allow designers to capture all characteristics in absolute precision and accuracy. Interested players can download the games for free and also enjoy free prizes and gifts.

Author's Bio: 

An ardent fan of horse racing for years, I am extremely passionate about writing articles on adventurous topics on the lines of new developments in sports, online games as well as other fields. You can find articles regarding Horse racing industries and interesting facts about the understanding of online free race games To know more about horse racing games online and related information log on to www.horseracegame.com.