Avelino Gomez

For a quarter-century, Avelino Gomez was the best-known jockey in Canada. Between 1955 and 1966, Gomez topped the Canadian standings in wins seven times. In 1966, Gomez became the first Canadian- based rider to surpass 300 wins in a year, riding 318 winners to lead all North American jockeys, and winning on 32 percent of his mounts.

Avelino Gomez and Titled Hero enter the winner's circle after winning the 1966 Queen's Plate at Woodbine (Michael Burns/Museum Collection)
Inducted

1982

Born

1928, Havana, Cuba

Died

1980, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Career

1944-1980

Wins

4,081

Earnings

$11,777,297

Racing Record

23.96

Win %

Biography

For a quarter-century, Avelino Gomez was the best-known jockey in Canada. Between 1955 and 1966, Gomez topped the Canadian standings in wins seven times. In 1966, Gomez became the first Canadian- based rider to surpass 300 wins in a year, riding 318 winners to lead all North American jockeys, and winning on 32 percent of his mounts.

Born in Cuba in 1928, Gomez began riding at the age of 16. By 1951, he was successful enough to get the mount on Curandero when he won the $100,000 Washington Park Handicap in Chicago. He made numerous short visits to the United States thereafter, winning stakes on Hall of Famer Affectionately, Ridan, Bupers, Crimson Satan, and Primonetta, among others.

In the Canadian Triple Crown series, Gomez won four editions of the Queen’s Plate, three runnings of the Breeders’ Stakes, and two renewals of the Prince of Wales Stakes. At Woodbine, where he won five riding titles, Gomez was known for leaping from the back of a winning mount, descending with arms outstretched to amused cheers from the crowd.

Gomez,a five-time leadig rider at Woodbine, died of complications after being injured in an accident during the 1980 Canadian Oaks. Overall, Gomez won 4,081 races.

Achievements

Sovereign Award for Outstanding Jockey (Canada) — 1977

North America's leading rider in wins — 1966

Canadian Triple Crown Highlights

Won the Queen's Plate — 1957, 1960, 1966, 1969
Won the Prince of Wales Stakes — 1959, 1964
Won the Breeders' Stakes — 1959, 1966, 1967

Media

Support the Museum, Become A Member
Become A Member