This Day in Sports: Jockey Bill Shoemaker wins 8,000th race

Jockey Bill Shoemaker in 1986 aboard Ferdinand.
Among Bill Shoemaker’s many accomplishments was becoming the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. He did that, at age 54, atop Ferdinand, above, in 1986.
(Los Angeles Times)

On a Wednesday afternoon at Hollywood Park, jockey Bill Shoemaker won his 8,000th race on this date in 1981 aboard War Allied in the first race.

According to The Times’ Bion Abbott, Shoemaker’s ride with War Allied was a “a rather routine” victory, beating One for Steve by 2 1/4 lengths in 1 minute 10.2 seconds for six furlongs.

He would win three more races that day, including an upset aboard Gem Boy in the $53,500 Happy Issue Stakes that capped the first riding quadruple of the season.

Shoemaker, 49, had succeeded Johnny Longden as the world’s winningest jockey in September 1970 at Del Mar with his 6,033rd trip to the winner’s circle.


In games involving local teams that were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies were scheduled to play Wednesday night at Coors Field in Denver. The Angels and Cleveland Indians would have wrapped up a three-game series with a day game at Angel Stadium.

The Galaxy had a Major League Soccer match set against D.C. United at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Here is a look at other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1937 — Carl Hubbell, working out of the bullpen for the New York Giants, wins his 24th straight game over two seasons. The screwball artist pitches two innings and Mel Ott hits a ninth-inning home run to beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2. Hubbell’s string started July 17, 1936, with a shutout of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1968 — George “Papa Bear” Halas, 73, announces his retirement as coach of the Chicago Bears. Halas, one of the co-founders of the National Football League, finishes a 40-year coaching career with 318 regular-season wins and six NFL championships.

1975 — Goaltender Bernie Parent shuts out the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 in Game 6 to give the Philadelphia Flyers their second consecutive Stanley Cup title. Parent is awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the series’ most valuable player, and he is the first back-to-back winner of the honor and the second player, after Bobby Orr, to win it twice. The Flyers are the last championship team to be composed solely of Canadian-born players.

The legendary Dodgers announcer outlasts 127 other entrants in a tournament to decide the biggest icon in L.A. sports history.

1981 — Julius Erving, the high-flying forward of the Philadelphia 76ers, is chosen the NBA’s most valuable player, making him the only person to win MVP honors in both the NBA and the American Basketball Assn. He is also the first non-center to win the award in 17 years. Dr. J averages 24.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the season.

1990 — Arie Luyendyk wins the fastest Indianapolis 500 by overpowering former victor Bobby Rahal in the final 33 laps for his first Indy car victory in 76 races. His average speed of 185.984 mph breaks Rahal’s record of 170.722 set in the 1986 race. Luyendyk of the Netherlands becomes the first driver to finish the 500 in less than three hours.

1997 — Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. breaks his own major league record of home runs hit through May when he connects for his 23rd of the season in the Mariners’ 11-10 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Griffey’s blast surpasses the mark of 22 he set in 1994.

2011 — In a 73-minute match, top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki loses to Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 6-3 in the third round of the French Open. It marks the first time in the Open era that the top two seeded women fail to make the round of 16 at a Grand Slam tournament. Kim Clijsters, the No. 2 seed, lost May 26. Hantuchova hits 26 winners to Wozniack’s eight and breaks her serve five times.

2014 — Wisconsin Whitewater is the only school in NCAA history to win championships in football, men’s basketball and baseball in the same school year. The Warhawks baseball team takes home the Division III World Series title with a 7-0 win over Emory University. The victory comes at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis., and it’s the second national title for the baseball program.

2016 — Senior Kaylee Puailoa’s pinch-hit, two-run home run with two outs in the seventh inning lifts No. 16 seed Georgia to a shocking 3-2 win over No. 1 Florida, giving the Bulldogs a surprise berth in the Women’s College World Series. Georgia didn’t just beat the top seed, the Bulldogs topped a team that won the previous two national championships.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press