Sam Boulmetis Sr., Hall of Fame New Jersey rider, dies at 94

Sports

This photo provided by Equi-Photo shows former jockey and New Jersey State steward Sam Boulmetis, Sr. poses in the Stewards Office at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., in this June 11, 1995, photo. Boulmetis Sr., a Hall of Fame jockey for nearly 20 years who won most of his four riding titles at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park in the 1950s, has died. He was 94. He died Sunday, May 30, 2021, at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, his family said. (Bill Denver/Equi-Photo via AP)

RED BANK, N.J. (AP) — Sam Boulmetis Sr., a Hall of Fame jockey who won four Monmouth Park riding titles in the 1940s and ’50s during a nearly 20-year career, has died. He was 94.

He died Sunday at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, his family said.

Boulmetis won 2,783 races and his mounts earned $15.4 million in purses. The earnings ranked in the top 10 all-time for riders when he retired in 1966. He started riding in Florida in 1948 and his first win came at Garden State Park in New Jersey. His Monmouth Park titles came in 1949, ‘53, ’55 and ’56.

Tosmah was probably his best mount. The filly defeated top males in the 1964 Arlington Classic Stakes, when the race was a key event for 3-year-olds in North America.

Boulmetis was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1973. After he stopped riding, he became a racing official and steward in New Jersey.

Son Sam Jr. became a jockey, riding from 1973-81 until he was paralyzed in a racing accident at Laurel Park. The younger Boulmetis worked as a steward at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania before retiring.

Jimmy Boulmetis, another son, would become a multiple stakes-winning trainer, based in the Mid-Atlantic region. Daughter Kim Boulmetis owns and breeds horses.

Boulmetis, of Rumson, New Jersey, is also survived by his wife, Lillian; daughters Susan Hino and Janie Walford; and sister Margie Black, whose son Tony is a former jockey.

A memorial service is scheduled for Friday at John E. Day Funeral Home in Red Bank.

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