Old Shoe Just as Good as New - Sports Illustrated Vault | SI.com
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Old Shoe Just as Good as New


Willie Shoemaker had won $40 million, including 79 $100,000 stakes, when he was thrown from his horse on Jan. 23, 1968. The fall broke his right leg, and it took 13 months of healing and therapy before he came back last week at Santa Anita. "I was a little wobbly until I got into the gate, "he says, "and then I relaxed. My leg doesn't hurt. I'll be back to normal in a week." He looked normal on Tuesday. He had three mounts, none of them the favorite, and won with all three.

In Willie's first start he kept Princess Endeavour close to the pace, won in the stretch, it was the filly's very first victory.

For No. 2 he brought Racing Room (above) from last to first, then went wire to wire with Jay's Double in the day's final race.