WBKO First Alert

Jockey Pat Day in Bowling Green

By: Lauren Forsythe Email
By: Lauren Forsythe Email

"1992 Lil E Tee, absolute highlight of my racing career, but what a joy just to be there on that day to enjoy the festivities, and of course to participate in that storied race. It was just indescribable," Day says, "There's just something mystical and absolutely 139 years of history."
 

We are less than two weeks out from the most exciting two minutes in sports, The Kentucky Derby.

"I was blessed to have ridden in that race 22 times. My record's not to good one for 22, but that one victory is the highlight of my racing career, and all others pale in comparison," says retired Jockey Pat Day.

As he thinks back to his time as a jockey, Day recalls the emotions and excitement he would get in the pit of his stomach as My Old Kentucky Home was played before the running of the Kentucky Derby.

He rode in nearly 40,000, but his best win was the one time he won the Derby.

"1992 Lil E Tee, absolute highlight of my racing career, but what a joy just to be there on that day to enjoy the festivities, and of course to participate in that storied race. It was just indescribable," Day says, "There's just something mystical and absolutely 139 years of history."

Day is the all time purse-winning jockey, he's earned $298 million in prizes, and he's had several second place finishes at Churchill Downs.

He calls himself lucky, since not all jockeys live the life he's had.

"I'm tremendously blessed. You know, blessed to be able to do what I was doing, something that I love to do. I tell people today that that was my hobby and I was able to make a living at it," he says.

Day retired in 2005.

He's gone from taking part in the Derby to watching it with everyone else.

"Derby day, we've got a table up in the dining room and my family and friends. We just go out there and enjoy the activity."

He feared once he retired he'd miss participating in the derby, but he says he enjoys getting to watch the best two minutes in sports.

Day raced for 32 years.

The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby is on May 4th.


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