Junior Alvarado, Julien Leparoux, Deshawn Parker, Gerard Melancon and Scott Stevens are finalists for the 2021 Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the New York Racing Association announced Sunday.
Created in 1989, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award is awarded to a jockey who displays the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that personified Venezia, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a spill in 1988. Venezia, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., won more than 2,300 races during his 25-year career.
All active jockeys in the continental U.S. are eligible to vote for the award winner.
“No one knows better than their fellow riders who is the most deserving of this award,” said Terry Meyocks, President and CEO of the Jockeys' Guild. “No matter who is chosen this year, each of these finalists is an accomplished athlete whose skills and dedication to racing is rivaled only by the respect they earn off the track.”
The 2021 Mike Venezia Memorial Award will be presented in a special ceremony at Saratoga Race Course Sept. 2.