INGLEWOOD, Calif. (June 14, 2012)—Alex Maese, whose career as a jockey spanned nearly 30 years, died early Thursday morning in Pasadena from complications of recent surgery. He was 83.
Maese, who rode from 1952-1981, is survived by Rosemarie, his wife of 52 years, five children – Alex Jr., James, Suzanne and twins Christian and Carlton and their respective spouses Cindy and Kerry – nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Services are pending.
A graduate of Anaheim High School, Maese was inducted into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame in 1986 and won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1966.
Presented annually at Santa Anita since 1950, the Woolf Award is given to a rider “who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct, on and off the race track.’’ He was in attendance when Ramon Dominguez became the latest Woolf Award winner earlier this year.
Maese, who collected his first victory at Pomona – now known as Fairplex Park – and his last at Golden Gate Fields, finished his career with 1,981 wins and purse earnings of $8,673,676.
He is 43rd all time at Betfair Hollywood Park with 252 wins, 18 of them coming in stakes. Among his biggest successes locally were the 1958 Inglewood Handicap with Eddie Schmidt, 1959 Honeymoon Handicap (Cellyar), 1963 Railbird Handicap (Well Ordered), 1965 Hollywood Derby (Terry’s Secret), 1966 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (Forgotten Dreams) and 1967 Milady Handicap (Desert Trial).
Carlton Maese said his father was particularly proud of his wins in the Hollywood Derby and Del Mar Futurity (Perris in 1963 and Terry’s Secret the following year) and the 1959 Arlington Futurity. “He won with T.V. Lark and the purse of $250,000 was the largest in the country,’’ said Carlton.
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