In his Dec. 12 article on Bill Shoemaker's victory aboard Nastique, Bill Christine quoted winning trainer Steve DiMauro as saying, "I wish Shoemaker could ride forever."
Bill Shoemaker has ridden in 5 decades against the best jockeys there have ever been in thoroughbred racing.
In one of the greatest rides in racing history, Shoemaker threaded his way from last place to first aboard Ferdinand in the 1986 Kentucky Derby. It's hard to believe that Shoemaker's riding skills have diminished to such an extent in 2 years that top trainers such as Ferdinand's Charlie Whittingham are now telling the Shoe to "stay at home."
Let's be grateful that we have 1 more year to watch the best rider in racing annals ply his trade.