There Was Too Little Time For Celebration.
Article By: Hal Lundgren
Stewart Elliott had just won the $300,000 Houston Ladies Classic aboard Pauline's Pearl. The win shot his January earnings beyond $500,000, more than double any other Sam Houston Race Park jockey.
There was some happy time in the winner's circle. Then Elliott scurried back to the jockey's quarters. He switched from muddy to clean racing attire. Then it was time to mount up for the next race.
"There's always a next race," Elliott said. For him, there have been plenty.
The Toronto native, 57, started his career in 1981. His next milestones are 35,000 mounts and 6,000 wins.
"I'll keep going as long as I can," he promised.
Of course, there's not likely to be another 2004 for Elliott. That year, he rode Smarty Jones to Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes'
wins. He missed winning the Belmont Stakes and a Triple Crown by one length. His mounts earned $14.5 million that year. He was voted the sport's top jockey.
In 2017, he earned riding's biggest honor, the George Woolf Award.
On-track success and off-track conduct are factors in winning the Woolf.
"There's no end in sight for my career," he said. "I'm feeling good.
Business is good.
"(Owner/trainer) Steve Asmussen and (agent) Scott Hare choose the right horses for me to ride. All I do is get on them and go."
Most people would suggest his riding skills have a lot to do with success. They certainly helped aboard Pauline's Pearl in the Ladies Classic.
"I had not ridden her," Elliott said. "I saw in videos that she liked to lay behind other horses, which she did in that race.
"She got a little too far back, so I pinched her a bit. She closed some ground nicely. Then, when it was time for her to go, she went. She knew what she was doing all along.
"For me, it was a push-button ride."