Various sources reported Tuesday the passing of legendary jockey Manny Ycaza, who died in New York Monday at the age of 80. Relatives said Ycaza battled sepsis and pneumonia over the weekend and was transported to the hospital Sunday night.
He died peacefully surrounded by family, relatives said.
The son of a bus driver, Ycaza was born in Panama in 1938 and began riding professionally there at 14. He also rode in Mexico before coming to the U.S., where he became known as one of the first influential Latin American jockeys.
In his first two years, Ycaza won back-to-back runnings of the prestigious D.C. International, and in 1963 he was hired by prominent Canadian owner E.P. Taylor to ride Canebora in the Queen's Plate. Ycaza won that race, too.
The following year, Ycaza captured the Belmont Stakes aboard Quadrangle, who thwarted Northern Dancer's Triple Crown bid.
Ycaza won the Travers Stakes twice, the Kentucky Oaks four times, the Champagne Stakes three times, the Florida Derby and many other graded stakes. He collected four riding titles at Saratoga and in 1959 broke a 38-year-old record for wins there.
Ycaza was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1977, becoming the first rider from Latin America inducted. He was a big supporter of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and participated in fundraisers through the years.
Ycaza is survived by his wife, Jeanne, and daughter, Carla.
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