On the day Santa Anita unveiled a plaque commemorating six decades of dedicated service to its recently retired 100-year-old Paddock Captain John Shear, it was announced that the Santana Mile S. has been renamed in his honor as the John Shear Mile S.
For older horses, the $75,000 John Shear Mile will be held Sunday, Apr. 10.
Employed by Santa Anita since 1961, Shear, who retired this past June, gained national recognition when on Mar. 12, 2011, he sustained life threatening injuries as he threw himself between an on-rushing loose horse and a 5-year-old girl just outside Santa Anita's Seabiscuit Walking Ring.
“John Shear is a legend among all of us here at Santa Anita, fans, jockeys, horsemen and employees,” said Chris Merz, Santa Anita's Director of Racing and Racing Secretary. “We are proud to rename this race in his honor and to help share his legacy of kindness, compassion and dedication to the well being of our sport with many generations of future racegoers.”