Bobby Ussery

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Bobby Ussery
Occupation Jockey
Born September 3, 1935
Vian, Oklahoma, United States
Career wins 3,611
Major racing wins

Canadian International Stakes (1955)
Narragansett Special (1955)
Manhattan Handicap (1957, 1967)
Sport Page Handicap (1957)
Whitney Handicap (1957)
Alabama Stakes (1958)
Cowdin Stakes (1958)
Travers Stakes (1958)
Jamaica Handicap (1959)
Toboggan Handicap (1959)
Bahamas Stakes (1960)
Flamingo Stakes (1960)
Florida Derby (1960)
Hopeful Stakes (1960)
Tremont Stakes (1960, 1961)
Youthful Stakes (1960, 1964)
Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (1961)
Gotham Stakes (1961, 1965)
Fall Highweight Handicap (1961)
Mother Goose Stakes (1961)
Coaching Club American Oaks (1962)
Matron Stakes (1962, 1964)
Lawrence Realization Stakes (1963)
Brooklyn Handicap (1963, 1971)
Withers Stakes (1964, 1965)
Edgemere Handicap (1965)
Stuyvesant Handicap (1965)
Wood Memorial Stakes (1965, 1968)
Morris Handicap (1966)
Saratoga Special Stakes (1966)
Stymie Handicap (1966)
Carter Handicap (1969, 1970)
Comely Stakes (1970)

Canadian Classic Race wins:
Queen's Plate (1959)

American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1967, 1968)
Preakness Stakes (1960)
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1980)
Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame (2011)
Significant horses
New Providence, Hail To Reason, Bally Ache
Proud Clarion, Dancer's Image

Robert Nelson "Bobby" Ussery (born September 3, 1935 in Vian, Oklahoma) is a retired American thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame jockey.[1] His first race as a professional jockey came at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans on November 22, 1951, where he rode Reticule to victory in the Thanksgiving Handicap.[2] By the end of the decade, he had won the Travers, Whitney and Alabama Stakes.

Riding Windfields Farm's colt New Providence, in 1959 he won Canada's most prestigious race, the Queen's Plate. The horse went on to win the Canadian Triple Crown, although Avelino Gomez took the mount for the final two legs.[3]

Ussery's best finish in the Belmont Stakes was in 1959 aboard the colt Bagdad. In 1960, he won the Hopeful Stakes aboard that year's Eclipse Award 2-year-old champion, Hail To Reason.[4] That same year, he rode Bally Ache to victory in the Florida Derby and the Flamingo Stakes en route to a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and then a win in the Preakness Stakes.[5]

In 1967, Ussery won the Kentucky Derby on Proud Clarion [6] and finished first in 1968 aboard Dancer's Image.[7] However, phenylbutazone, a substance banned in Kentucky at that time but later sanctioned after it was proven not to affect a horse's performance, was found in Dancer's Image's post-race urine test. Dancer's Image was disqualified and listed as having finished last.

Ussery was so noted for driving horses to the lead and opening them up on the far turn at Aqueduct Race Track that it was soon dubbed "Ussery's Alley".[8]

Ussery retired in 1974 with 3,611 race wins. In 1980, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame.[9]


  1. ^ "National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame". 1951-11-22. Archived from the original on 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  2. ^ "TIME magazine". 1959-08-17. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  3. ^ "''Saskatoon Star-Phoenix'' (Saskatchewan) - July 6, 1959". 1959-07-06. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  4. ^ "''New York Times'' - August 28, 19600". 1960-08-28. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  5. ^ Whitney Tower. "Sports Illustrated - May 30, 1960" (in Chinese). Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  6. ^ "Spartanburg, South Carolina ''Herald-Journal'' - May 7, 1967". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  7. ^ Daley, Arthur (1968-05-05). "''New York Times'' - May 5, 1968". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Remington Park press release - September 27, 2011". Retrieved 2012-05-23.[permanent dead link]