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Former Jockey Paul Frey Passes At Age 73
Paul Frey, one of the leading jockeys in the Northwest and Northern California in the 1950s to early 1970s, died Saturday of pneumonia at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto. Mr. Frey was 73.
Born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada, Mr. Frey competed in the saddle from 1953 to 1972 and rode 2,478 winners, a total that ranked him 26th on the all-time win list for jockeys at the time of his retirement.
Mr. Frey won the riding championship at Longacres Park in 1964 and 1966 and recorded 41 stakes victories at the Washington track. Frey won the Gottstein Futurity twice (with Te Amo Weep in 1959 and Dr. John H. in 1961) and also had a pair of wins in the Longacres Derby (with Sparrow Castle in 1960 and Ahead Tiger in 1967). On two occasions, Frey rode six winners (6-for-9) on a single card at Longacres.
Mr. Frey also enjoyed many stakes successes at Bay Meadows, where he won the California Derby (with On My Honor in 1963), the Bay Meadows Handicap (with Diamond Lou in 1966), the William P. Kyne Handicap (with Most Host in 1967), and the California Jockey Club Handicap (with Poona Downs in 1970).
Mr. Frey rode in the 1963 Kentucky Derby and finished fourth aboard On My Honor.
Following his riding career, Mr. Frey worked in the jockey’s rooms at Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields. He served many years as the valet for Russell Baze, racing’s winningest jockey.
Mr. Frey is survived by his wife, Diane; daughters Danae and Debbie; son Jay; stepsons Jim and John; and many grandchildren, including Kyle Frey, one of the candidates for the 2011 Eclipse Award as leading apprentice.
“Paul didn’t want any services,” said Diane Frey. “He just wanted people to remember him as the fun-loving guy he was. He had a tough exterior, but he was soft inside. He loved the racetrack and all the people there.”