Year Inducted: 2011
A member of a select group of jockeys to post more than 5,000 career wins, Tim Doocy took Oklahoma horse racing by storm when he arrived at Remington Park for his first season in the fall of 1993.
Doocy went immediately to the top of the jockey standings, winning the first of five local riding titles and setting Remington Park records in the process.
Born in 1955 in Blue Earth, Minn., Doocy rode his first race in July 1974 at Commodore Downs in Erie, Pa. at the age of 18. Moving around the country like many journeyman jockeys will, Doocy settled in the Midwest where he had plenty of friends and family. He started claiming riding titles at venerable tracks such as Ak-Sar-Ben in Omaha, Neb., winning the first of three summer trophies there in 1984.
1984 also marked the beginning of an amazing statistical run for Doocy. It was the first calendar year in which his mount earnings exceeded the million-dollar mark, not a common achievement for many jockeys in that era. Doocy would continue to exceed the million-dollar plateau each year for the remainder of his career thru 2009, a run of 26 consecutive years.
Among his many stakes wins, Doocy has always counted his score in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in 1990 aboard Restless Con as his biggest.
Prior to relocating to Remington Park in the fall of 1993, Doocy was racing mostly in northern California. Jockey agent Jack Moody needed a rider that fall. He had held the book for Remington Park’s all-time leading rider at the time, Pat Steinberg, when his life was cut short in an automobile accident. Moody persuaded Doocy to move to Oklahoma City where his career quickly found new vitality and success.
Business was brisk and successful for Doocy in Oklahoma City. He won 68 races to lead the colony and on the final day of the 1993 Fall Season, he posted six wins to set a then Remington Park record for Thoroughbred victories on a single program.
The wins and records kept rolling in for Doocy at Remington Park. In 1997 he set the record for most wins in one season with 127, a mark that still stands. Doocy’s mounts that season also made more than $1.2 million as he was the first jockey to break the seven-digit barrier in a single Thoroughbred Season in Oklahoma City.
While he had plenty of trips to the winner’s circle and numerous stakes scores locally, victory in the Oklahoma Derby eluded Doocy until 1999 when he rode Temperence Time.
Trained by Kenny Smith, Temperence Time was always a bit of a project. The large gelding had plenty of talent but he also lacked focus and the ability to hold his line and not float out in the turns and even in the homestretch. Doocy managed to maintain Temperence Time enough to rally him around rivals in the final turn and down the stretch to defeat 1998 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Answer Lively by 1-1/2 lengths.
Doocy enjoyed one more Oklahoma Derby win on a mount that literally came to him. Going Ballistic entered the 2007 Oklahoma Derby fresh off his win in the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. Trained by Donnie Von Hemel, Cliff Berry was the regular rider for the big gray colt. However, Berry sustained an arm injury in a race the night before the derby and felt he could not give Going Ballistic his best chance to win with the ailment. Von Hemel summoned the jockeys’ quarters and there sat Doocy, with no mount in the race. He accepted the ride and the result was one of the most thrilling moments in Oklahoma Derby history.
Going Ballistic loved to close from the back of the pack. Last of 11 in the derby, nearly 24 lengths behind the leader after a half-mile, Doocy and Going Ballistic began a sweeping turn move from last to first that was absolutely spectacular. In just three furlongs, the pair had made the lead at the top of the stretch after circling the field. Going Ballistic won the race by 3-1/4 lengths.
Doocy continued to win races and titles well into his third decade in the saddle, earning season awards at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas and at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. He posted his 5,000th career win in April 2009 at Oaklawn Park, becoming just the 25th jockey to reach the milestone.