Year Inducted: 2009
Jockey Larry Payne has spent nearly all of his life in the saddle, learning riding skills at the young age of 8, when he would help break babies for his father, trainer Jerry Payne. Larry received his first official jockey’s license at age 16 and put together an outstanding career that spanned parts of five decades.
A force in the Remington Park jockey standings since the beginning of Quarter Horse racing here, Payne won the first of three leading rider titles in 1991 with 46 victories. He triumphed again in 1993 with 49 wins before winning his third title in 2003 with 29 wins.
Payne has posted many huge victories at Remington Park including his richest score, the $1,000,000 Heritage Place Futurity in 2011 aboard High Rate Of Return. He also won the Heritage Place on Southern Takes All in 2007. Payne has won the Remington Park Futurity numerous times, including Send Me The Candy (1996), Outdashing (2002), Redman Running (2003) and Regard With Respect (2015). Payne won the $525,000 Oklahoma Futurity in 2017 on Ima China Rush. It was the richest edition of the historic race, the oldest futurity in the sport of Quarter Horse racing.
Perhaps the biggest day in his career took place on the closing day of the season on August 17, 2003, when Payne basically won everything… six stakes races, all for trainer Eddie Willis, including the Remington Park Futurity with Redman Running and the Remington Park Derby with eventual World Champion Oak Tree Special.
In Quarter Horse racing alone Payne won 2,499 races with earnings of more than $32.8 million, according to the American Quarter Horse Association. He has also been a mainstay in the Mixed-breed ranks, earning the American Paint Horse Association Champion Jockey award in 2003 and 2006. Payne has total career earnings of more than $38 million when counting all breeds of racing. He has 569 lifetime wins on Thoroughbreds.
Like many in the sport, Payne utilized close family ties while enjoying a long career. His wife Marilyn served as his successful agent, in some capacity, since 1986. The family also operates a ranch and raises alfalfa. Away from racing, Payne enjoys the great outdoors, honing his skills as a fisherman.
Larry Payne, without any fanfare, quietly called it a career on Friday, June 1, 2018 during the next-to-last program of the season at Remington Park. Payne rode Heartswideopen in the first race of the night, also the only race on the card where he had a mount. The 8-5 betting favorite, Heartswideopen won a 250-yard maiden claiming event by a head, giving Payne the score and allowing him to walk away from a long career, a winner in his final race.