Born: 19 August 1931
Died: 12 October 2003 (Natural causes )
Birthplace: Fabens, Texas
Best known as: Four-time Kentucky Derby winner who later was paralyzed
Willie Shoemaker won his first horse race when he was 17. He went on to become the most successful jockey in history, winning the Kentucky Derby four times, the Belmont Stakes five times and the Preakness twice. In 1986, at the age of 54, he became the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. He retired as a jockey in 1990. Despite an auto accident in 1991 that left him partially paralyzed, Shoemaker worked as a horse trainer until his retirement in 1997.
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