Frank Hayes: The jockey who won a horse race despite being dead


On June 4, 1923 at New York’s Belmont Park, the 22-calendar year-aged (or 35, in accordance to some newspaper reviews at the time) won the only race of his career on the horse Sweet Kiss.

He also grew to become the only male to at any time win a race despite staying useless.

Brooklyn’s Hayes, a steady hand turned stand-in jockey, reached the unthinkable and rode the 20-1 shot to a shock victory more than enthusiast most loved Gimme. While that in by itself shocked the group, what was to come would be even much more surprising.

Soon after Hayes crossed the finish line, he tumbled from the saddle.

Studies at the time claimed observe medical doctor John A. Voorhees rushed in excess of to analyze Hayes but pronounced him useless quickly and claimed he had suffered a heart attack.

Belmont Park in Elmont, New York opened in 1905.

“The grim reaper paid out a sensational visit to the Belmont Park track yesterday,” wrote the Brooklyn Each day Eagle.

“The exertion and exhilaration proved too great,” said the New York’s Daily News, which also explained Hayes as “effectively-preferred … beloved in the saddling place and steady and took a excellent pleasure in his contacting.”

It’s considered Sweet Kiss by no means raced all over again. In reality, lore claims it attained the nickname “Sweet Kiss of Demise.”

In accordance to Keeneland Library, the a long time for which it experienced race data for the horse, Sweet Kiss won a full of $1775 in earnings.

Additional than 95 many years afterwards, and it can be continue to not very clear when particularly Hayes died.

“Our documentation for Hayes is minimal,” Roda Ferraro, head librarian at Keeneland Library, informed CNN.

“The fact that we have a photograph of Hayes on Sweet Kiss mid-jump that day is really incredible as the photographers of that interval for which we are the repository of record did not focus in steeplechase protection.”

The Guinness World Documents promises the jockey died in the course of the true race.

“Despite his sudden loss of life, Hayes by some means remained in the saddle extensive enough for the 20-1 prolonged shot to bounce the remaining fence and cross the complete line in initially area,” it suggests.

There have been conflicting stories at the time encompassing the result in of the jockey’s dying. Although some explained it may possibly have been from the pleasure of the race, other stories pointed to coronary heart failure as a result of having to reduce his weight to 130 pounds.

“He was confronted with the activity of using off nearly 10 kilos in 24 several hours,” the Buffalo Early morning Specific wrote. “This early morning he expended quite a few several hours on the highway, jogging off surplus excess weight. He strove and sweated and denied himself water and when he climbed into the saddle at publish time he was weak and drained.”

A 7 days later, Hayes was buried in the very same riding silks he wore in the course of his initial gain — which was also his previous.



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