Eddie Delahoussaye is not only excited to have a stakes race named
for him by Santa Anita on opening day next Friday, more importantly,
he’s thrilled to be here in person to see history unfold.
The popular Hall of Fame rider, who retired due to injuries in 2003,
is looking forward to the inaugural running of the Grade III Eddie D
Stakes, formerly run as the Morvich Stakes, at about 6 ½ furlongs on the
“It’s great,” Delahoussaye said. “It’s exciting and I’m very honored that my peers thought I was deserving. Like I told (Santa Anita Publicity Director) Mike
Willman, ‘Usually they do this stuff when people die.’ I said, ‘I hope I
make it. Maybe you know something I don’t know.’ We were laughing about
“But I think they’ve done the right thing. More things like this
should be done while people are alive so they can still enjoy it. I
thank everyone who was instrumental in naming this race, and for the new
names of other stakes at Santa Anita this meet.
“I thank Mr. Stronach (Frank Stronach, Founder and Chairman of The
Stronach Group which owns Santa Anita). People can say what they want
about him, but he bought Santa Anita and other tracks, and if he hadn’t
bought them, who would have?
“You have to give him credit. He’s trying to keep racing going. Some
people have been critical about his methods, but he’s been successful.”
Delahoussaye is himself trying to maintain a degree of success,
plying his trade as a bloodstock agent. His most recent venture came at
the Keeneland September Yearling Sales.
“We did well there,” said Delahoussaye, who hasn’t lost the down home accent or sense of humor from his native Louisiana.
“We bought four and tried to get two more but either they didn’t pass
the vet or we got outbid. Otherwise, sales were strong. For the economy
the way it is, I think they did real well.”
Testimonials are unanimous in support of Delahoussaye as person and a
rider, as noted in the following from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert:
“Eddie Delahoussaye gave me my first biggest thrill in horse racing
when he won the Breeders’ Cup for me with Thirty Slews down at
Gulfstream Park (in 1992). I’ll never forget it. I was so nervous. I
kept giving him instructions, and he told me not to be so nervous and to
“I said, ‘No, the reason I’m this way is because I know I’ve got a
shot to win.’ When I won that race that day, I thought that was it and
that it can’t get any better than that. I’ll always be grateful to Eddie
for that one big day. And I think it’s great that Santa Anita is