|Liz Lundberg contacted JockeysRoom straight off the Internet by sending us an e-mail and asked to be female jockey number 67 on the site!
Born two days before Christmas in 1958, Liz hails from the Bronx, New York.
Standing at 5' 2" and riding at 112 lbs or 8 stone, to date Liz has ridden in 3,665 races, winning 366 with 397 second places finishes and 403 thirds.
Liz's first ride was at Tampa Bay Downs on Beene Baby for trainer, Hank Caballero. Soon afterwards, she won her first race at Tampa Bay Downs on February 6th, 1992, on Sinijin for trainer, Mark Zele.
We interviewed Liz recently and here are her very interesting replies:
Favourite Horse---"If my life depended on picking a favorite horse I'd never die, because it would take me forever to single out one.
The horse that I feel did the most for me was a horse named Turfdom. In the process of winning four starts in a row, he enabled me to overcome a lot of doubt about how much I had to do with the winning.
He certainly had everything it took to get to the wire first, but I could not fault myself in those races, regardless of whether it had been all the horse or not.
All four races were picture perfect rides and the longer I ride the more I agree with myself about that experience. He brought me lots of recognition and helped to expand my clientele. I owe him much and wish I could compensate him."
Liz Lundberg scorches home on another winner. Photo supplied by Liz Lundberg.
Best horses ridden:---"Lively Leah for Molincroft Farm in Canada when Greenwood was still running, Fixed Asset for Owen Rainwater, Tis Andy's Turn for Shirley Girten, Kiddville for Bob Bedner and Ronnie Carnes, Annie's Apple for Oscar Arnold, Uppity Woman for W. John Bourke, Jacodra's Courage for Mike Murray."
"The best horse I almost rode was Not Surprising, I am told, but that I heard second hand.
He was entered in an allowance race at Tampa, and I had asked Robert Van Worp, who is good friends with a man I was seeing at the time, if I could back jockey Bill Henry up on him.
Of course I knew Billy would never take off, so after the overnight came out I left to return north for the Thistledown opening day in Ohio.
Just prior to the allowance race, Billy got kicked in the jaw by a green maiden and he had to go get stitches.
Robert Van Worp called the jocks' room to request my services. That's the story. I cannot say with certainty that it happened, because I was not there, but I get sick when I think about it. There's nothing worse for your PR in my opinion, then advertising yourself as having ALMOST ridden Not Surprising.
Anyway, Kevin Whitley got the mount and that great piece of PR is probably resting in a photo album in his trophy room! "
Best races won:---"The Brecksville H'cap on Uppity Woman at Thistledown for John Bourke, the Decoration Day H'cap on Fixed Asset at Mountaineer Park for Owen Rainwater."
Best Quality as a jockey (ie, sense of pace, etc)---"I have never had the opportunity to really become as skilled in anything the way I'd like to be.
If I had ten more years to ride, then I would, I believe, be most dangerous at anything. Mainly though, I don't notice my strengths.
What I think about are my weaknesses because the strengths don't need work, but the weaknesses do.
My best qualities depend on whom you ask: Some say "we like you cuz you can leave the gate," which I believe I'm pretty fair at, but others insist that I'm not a good gate rider.
They like my patience, which is something I don't feel I've had the luxury to practise. I ride mainly mediocre horses in races with other inconsistent animals, and beyond knowing you have only so much air to run on there's not a whole lot of raceriding 'skill' involved.
Others say they like the fact that I stick to the fence, which I don't necessarily do. Still others like the fact that I keep clear, which I don't necessarily do either.
Some say I am a good judge of pace. For me judging pace has more to do with knowing how hard your horse is working to maintain his position and what how much you will tax him physically and mentally by maneuvering around with him."
Hobbies:---"I play guitar, fiddle, piano, all very badly. I still love school, glad I got a BA, still take classes at nearby Kent State. I'm interested in journalism.
The sports editor at the local paper has given me the position stringer for the horseraces with the agenda mainly to be covered along the lines of "what do grooms do?', and "how much do jockeys make?" and which I intend to begin doing as soon as school gets out.
I like to draw and paint and do little craft- type things. I like to read, mostly non-fiction. I love figuring out how to do stuff on the computer."
Agent Info:---"My agent is identical to me, but she wears sneaks and a ball cap and begs the other agents to let me keep my mounts when I finish second on them, if you get my drift….
There are some people I would like to thank for my success, for while I am a small time rider my stats show that I am quite capable and gritty to the wire.
First, my parents, for realizing that I was never going to lose my horse fever and was opting to replace it with drugs until they intervened. They saved my life, and gave me something to live for.
Second, a horsemanship instructor named Ron McGlaughlin, who still performs clinics around the country. He could be brutal but his Monte Foreman method is scientific and applicable to any discipline.
Third, I have to thank Jerry Noss who as my onetime agent was both an unreasonable taskmaster and also my single biggest cheerleader and who introduced me to many many people who I love and will never forget.
He also gave me the closest thing to a title I have. He drove me to tenth in the riders Standings at Thistledown for the year which has not been equaled by a woman since.
My feelings about being a female rider are complex but two things stand out for me.
The first is that what will turn the tide of discrimination is numbers:
The more women there are, the more women will dominate. I look forward to seeing the numbers grow and anticipate things becoming easier for women as women athletes become more generally acknowledged.
The second is that even as I prepare to retire, I know that this is what I was created to do, whether I have been laughed at, discriminated against, taken advantage of, and otherwise ill-considered. That knowledge alone is an overwhelming sense of joy for me, and I have no bitterness about how difficult things have been."
Liz hersef can also be contacted for rides on her e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck Liz with everything and thanks for contacting JockeysRoom.