Laffit Alejandro Pincay, Jr. (born December 29, 1946 in Panama City, Panama) was flat racing's all-time winningest jockey, still holding second place many years after his retirement. He competed primarily in the United States.
Laffit Pincay, Jr. learned to ride by watching his father who was a jockey at many tracks in Panama and Venezuela. He began his riding career in his native Panama, and in 1966 prominent horseman Fred W. Hooper and agent Camilo Marin sponsored him to come to the United States and ride under contract. He started his American career at Arlington Park in Chicago and won eight of his first eleven races. During his career, Pincay, Jr. was voted the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1970 that honors a rider whose career and personal conduct exemplifies the very best example of participants in the sport of thoroughbred racing. In 1996, he was voted the Mike Venezuela Memorial Award for "extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship". He has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey on five occasions and was the United States' leading jockey seven times.
|Born||December 29, 1946 (age 66)|
In 1973, Pincay rode Sham, and together they won that year's Santa Anita Derby and placed second in the Wood Memorial behind Angle Light, but ahead of their main rival, Secretariat. Sham was considered the best horse in the west, and they were second choice in the Kentucky Derby, once again behind Secretariat. Secretariat won the race, but Sham finished second, just 2/5 of a second behind. In the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, Sham was in striking distance in the stretch before losing to Secretariat by two lengths. In the Belmont Stakes, Pincay was instructed to keep Sham close to Secretariat. They traveled down the backstretch together, but Sham tired after running at an extremely fast pace and fell back to finish last of five while Secretariat pulled away from the field for a 31-length victory.
Pincay married his first wife, Linda, in 1967. They had a daughter, Lisa, and a son, Laffit III. Lisa is the mother to two of his grandchildren, Madelyn and Mason. Linda Pincay committed suicide in January 1985. He has a son, Jean Laffit Pincay, with his second wife, Jeanine. Laffit Pincay III is a horse racing commentator for HRTV and NBC. In October 2007, he was loaned to ESPN to serve as the winner's circle interviewer at the 2007 Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park. He currently resides in Arcadia, California.
In 2004, Hollywood Park Racetrack announced the creation of the Laffit Pincay Jr, Award to be presented annually on Hollywood Gold Cup Day that features the race he won a record nine times. The award was designed by American sculptor Nina Kaiser and is presented to someone who has served the horse racing industry with integrity, dedication, determination, and distinction.
At the time of his retirement (April 2003), he remained horse racing's winningest jockey, with 9,530 career victories. On December 1, 2006, Russell Blaze passed Pincay on the all-time win list.
With his 8,834th win, on December 10, 1999 at Hollywood Park Racetrack in California aboard Irish Nip, he broke the career victory record previously held by Bill Shoemaker.