January 1, 2012
Jockey Bill Ives * Hialeah Park Photo
Veteran jockey Bill Ives, always a popular rider at every track he rode, went out a winner at Hialeah Park on Sunday in the final ride of his career. Ives piloted Wild N Wicked JD, a 4-year-old Jackie Kirby trainee owned by Mary Passmore, to victory in the featured $22,500 Beautiful Prairie Stakes at 220 yards. The win marked the fifth in a row for Wild N Wicked JD. Ives has been aboard for the last four of those victories going back to October at Will Rogers Downs.
The stakes win was the icing on the cake of a big final weekend for Ives. In all, he won five races over the course of the three-day racing week at the iconic South Florida track.
Ives, who had been contemplating his retirement, let many of the local horsemen know during the last week of 2011 that he was going to hang up his tack after New Year’s Day. Ives, who will turn 51 in a little over a month, first rode in pari-mutuel races in 1980. He competed for 11 years before taking a 17-year break from competitive race riding. During that time, Ives competed in rodeos and showed horses. He resumed his riding career in 2008 and has ridden at many of the major Quarter Horse tracks in America since then, including Hialeah Park, Prairie Meadows, Remington Park and Will Rogers Downs.
Ives mentioned Chi Ter (2011 Hialeah Invitational winner), Stone E Motion (a multiple stakes winner at 870 yards), Eyeowa Cyclone (a winner of five straight races at Hialeah and Remington Park in 2011) and Wild N Wicked JD as four of his favorite horses.
Ives plans to return to his home state of Washington, where he intends to spend more time with his family and get involved in the fishing, shrimping and crabbing business.
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