Ramon Sanchez Wins 2016 Sam Thompson Memorial Award

The jockey will be honored at Ruidoso Downs on September 4.

Press release

Ramon Sanchez rode world champion One Dashing Eagle to victory in the 2012 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.

Jockey Ramon Sanchez is the winner of the sixth annual Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award. Sanchez will be honored at an awards presentation in the winner's circle at Ruidoso Downs on September 4.

Sanchez will receive a trophy and a belt buckle commemorating the award, as well as a signed print of a Sam Thompson painting by artist Linda Manion made exclusively for the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award. His name will be added to a permanent plaque, which is housed with other prominent awards in the Racing Hallway at the American Quarter Horse Association in Amarillo, Texas.

The Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey award is a peer-elected award. Every summer, ballots are mailed to U.S. racetracks that are running Quarter Horses, and active jockeys are invited to vote for the person whose personal character on and off the racetrack reflects positively on Quarter Horse racing. This year's nominees were Sanchez, Jose E. Badilla Jr., Jorge Martin Bourdieu, and John Hamilton.

The previous winners of the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award are Roy Brooks (the inaugural winner in 2011), Gilbert Ortiz (2012), G.R. Carter Jr. (2013), Cody Jensen (2014), and Eddie Garcia (2015). 

Sanchez was born on June 2, 1976, in San Jose Tateposco, Tlaquepaque Guadalajara, Mexico. He first began riding at the age of 12 for his grandfather, who was a horse trainer, even though his mother was against him doing so because of the dangers involved.

Sanchez thrived and pursued his career in Mexico with the support of his father and grandfather, and his mother soon gave him her support after she saw the passion her son had for riding. Sanchez came to the United States in 1999 and began riding for trainer Paul Jones. At times, he questioned whether he should return to Mexico, but his perseverance paid off and he became a leading jockey. Sanchez was AQHA champion jockey in 2009 and '09.

Sanchez's noteworthy accomplishments include setting an all-time record at Los Alamitos with 220 wins in a single season and winning an all-time record 24 stakes in a single season at Los Alamitos, both in 2002. One of his most memorable racing moments was winning the 2011 All American Derby aboard Llano Teller. He also won stakes aboard world champions Wave Carver and One Dashing Eagle, and champions Good Reason SA, Runnning Brook Gal, Apollitical Time, Little Bit Of Baja, Panther Mountain, and Noconi.

Sanchez is married to wife Laura, lives in Norco, California, and has four children. 

Speedhorse Magazine, in conjunction with The Jockeys' Guild, developed the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award, modeling it after the popular George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in the Thoroughbred industry. The award honors jockey Sam Thompson, who suffered a fatal riding accident in 2008.

One of the leaders in the jockeys’ room during his riding career, Thompson was a Jockeys’ Guild senator, the room representative at Los Alamitos, and a council member of the Los Alamitos division of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America.

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