LeRoy Jolly Won 15 Grade 1 Races Including Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup
Hall of Fame Thoroughbred trainer LeRoy Jolley has passed away following a race he couldn’t win against lung cancer. Jolley, 80, trained Kentucky Derby winners Foolish Pleasure (1975) and the filly Genuine Risk (pictured, 1980), who was also the first filly to run in all three Triple Crown races. She finished 2nd in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
Jolly’s conditioning career started in 1958 when he took out his trainer’s license. The Hot Springs, AR native was personable and professional during his career that spanned more than 6,900 starts with 991 wins.
Jolly conditioned three Eclipse champions:
- Honest Pleasure (1975) 2-year-old champion male
- What a Summer (1977) champion sprinter
- Meadow Star (1990) 2-year-old filly
Three of his trainees also were inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame: Manila, Foolish Pleasure and Genuine Risk.
As the Breeders’ Cup arrived in 1984, Jolley was a visible trainer and won a pair of Breeders’ Cup races:
- Manila (1986) Turf
- Meadow Star (1990) Juvenile Fillies
Meadow Star completed an undefeated juvenile season with seven wins.
A fixture on the New York circuit throughout his career, Jolly’s resume included 15 Grade 1 wins including major stakes victories in the Arlington Million, the Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes, the Whitney Handicap, Woodward Stakes.
Jolley was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987.