The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

Sandy Hawley

Harness Racing

1976


Photo of Sandy Hawley at the 1975 Queen’s Plate

Photo of Sandy Hawley at the 1975 Queen’s Plate

Date
June 28, 1975
Collection
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

And the Oscar goes to…

The Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey is the ‘Oscar’ of American thoroughbred horse racing. When Sandy Hawley secured his in 1976 the verdict was in. The always modest and polite gentleman from Oshawa, Ontario, had reached the pinnacle of his sport when he received the stamp of approval from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association, the influential bodies who make the Eclipse selection.

With only a tiny portion of the ballots coming from Canada, Hawley won the award despite powerful lobbying in the U.S. for American jockeys Angelo Cordero Jr. and Laffit Pincay Jr.

Unlike an Academy Award it was not for a singular performance, rather for a spectacular year during which Sandy ruled supreme as a true continental champion. From coast to coast, in Canada and the United States, Sandy was the most winning jockey in North America for the fourth time in seven years.

In one memorable race Sandy took ‘One on the Aisle’ from more than twenty lengths back to win by a nose in a photo finish at the San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita in California, his favourite race track in the United States. In another, Sandy guided his career favourite horse ‘Youth’ to a victory at the prestigious Canadian International Championship over a gruelling 1 5/8 mile course at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. A few weeks later he boarded Youth for a ten-length victory at the Washington D.C. International.

In early December, at the age of 27, Sandy Hawley became the world’s youngest jockey to record 3,000 career wins. Riding appropriately named ‘Glad to Be’ at Greenwood Raceway in Toronto, Sandy came home with a decisive seven length win to achieve the milestone. Greeting him in the winner’s enclosure was the great horseman Duke Campbell who gave Sandy his first job in 1966 hot walking horses and later his first mount in 1968. What a proud moment that was as Sandy credits Duke as his greatest sporting influence.

Sandy’s colleagues and competitors validated his fine sportsmanship when members of the Jockey’s Guild voted him the recipient of The George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. It is presented annually to the thoroughbred horse racing jockey in North America who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct, on and off the racetrack. Perhaps there has never been a more appropriate winner.

An ‘Oscar’ may have been the only thing missing in 1976, but surely, if they had turned Sandy Hawley’s storybook year into a movie, he would have taken that one too!

110-pound leading jockey Sandy Hawley voted Canada’s best athlete second time Adobe PDF Transcript


Highlights

1973
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
1976
George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award
1976
Eclipse Award - North America’s top jockey
1976
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
1976
Named to the Order of Canada
1978
Sovereign Award - Canada’s top jockey
1986
Avelino Gomez Memorial Award
1988
Sovereign Award - Canada’s top jockey