Bailey, Jerry 1957–

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Bailey, Jerry 1957–

PERSONAL: Born August 29, 1957, in Dallas, TX; married.

ADDRESSES: Office—c/o Jockeys Guild, 250 W. Main St., Lexington, KY 40507-1714. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Professional jockey, beginning 1974.

AWARDS, HONORS: Winner of Belmont Stakes, 1991, riding Hansel, 2003, riding Empire Maker; winner of Preakness Stakes, 1991, riding Hansel, 2000, riding Red Bullet; George Woolf Award, Jockey's Guild, 1992; Mike Venezia Award, New York Racing Association, 1993; winner of Kentucky Derby, 1993, riding Sea Hero, 1997, riding Grindstone; named to Racing Hall of Fame, 1995.


(With Tom Pedulla) Against the Odds: Riding for My Life (autobiography), G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: In Against the Odds: Riding for My Life, explained a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "An ace jockey gives a sincere, straightforward account of his alcoholism and his sensational career." That jockey, Jerry Bailey, describes his lifelong appreciation of horses and riding and the early success he achieved as a jockey in his autobiography, but he also discusses the alcoholism that held him back from achieving true greatness in the sport. Justifiably fearful that owners would not let him ride the best horses if they knew about his drinking, Bailey kept that part of his life secret from all but his closest friends and family. Finally, at the insistence of his wife, he gave up drinking in 1989 and began the truly remarkable phase of his career. Bailey has gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes; while riding Cigar he won sixteen races in a row, making Cigar the richest thoroughbred in history. Both his struggles and triumphs are recounted in Against the Odds, "an inspiring book that would appeal not only to racing fans but also to families coping with substance abuse," according to Library Journal contributor Patsy Gray. A Publishers Weekly reviewer found the book somewhat "cliche-ridden" but also called it "an often poignant memoir of the triumph of the human spirit."



Bailey, Jerry, and Tom Pedulla, Against the Odds: Riding for My Life, G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 2005.


Booklist, March 15, 2005, Dennis Dodge, review of Against the Odds, p. 1257.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of Against the Odds, p. 269.

Library Journal, April 15, 2005, Patsy Gray, review of Against the Odds, p. 96.

Publishers Weekly, March 7, 2005, review of Against the Odds, p. 59.

Sports Illustrated, November 6, 2000, William Nack, "Silky Smooth," p. 74; April 25, 2005, Richard Deitsch, "Q&A: Jerry Bailey," p. 22.


ESPN Web site, (July 5, 2005), Kenny Mayne, "Q&A with Jerry Bailey."