Ohio-Based Jockey Quinones Wins 2020 George Woolf Award
Jockey will be at Santa Anita to accept the Woolf Award in a ceremony on March 22.
• By BloodHorse Staff
America’s second-leading rider by races won in 2019, Puerto Rican native Luis M. Quinones, a mainstay in Ohio and West Virginia, has been selected by a nationwide vote of his peers as the winner of the prestigious 2020 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.
The Woolf Award, which can be won only once, recognizes riders whose careers and personal character garner esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. The Woolf trophy is a replica of the life-sized statue of legendary Hall of Fame jockey George Woolf, which adorns Santa Anita Park’s paddock garden area. It has been presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950.
Quinones, 41, outpolled a group of five highly respected finalists in Tyler Baze, Javier Castellano, Chris Emigh and James Graham.
“It’s a great honor just to be on the ballot for this award,” Quinones said. “Winning the Woolf Award is incredible. I’m looking forward to coming out there and I know this is something I will never forget.”
In winning the award, Quinones joins a fraternity that includes some of the greatest riders in the history of the sport. He follows last year’s winner, Scott Stevens.
Riding predominantly at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, Thistledown and Mountaineer Park, Quinones had a career-best year in 2019, as he won 314 races from 1,331 mounts, finishing second nationally by wins to Eclipse Champion Irad Ortiz Jr., who had 324 winners. His mounts earned more than $3.6 million, also a new high for Quinones.
This year he is second in the standings at Mahoning Valley, trailing Jaime Rodriguez 26-24 in wins through Feb. 26.
A married father of three daughters, Quinones, who is closing in on a milestone of 2,000 career wins, has built a solid reputation that far exceeds his ability to win races