Best Jockey - 2004
Chicago used to be Ramsey Zimmerman's kind of town. The blue-eyed, blond-haired 22-year-old grew up in the 'burbs and achieved early success aboard Illinois' most sterling colts at Hawthorne and Arlington, the latter being one of the nation's premier venues for thoroughbred racing. But with early success comes an invitation to ride in horse racing's fast lane, which for reckless decadence has been known to rival the backstage scene at an Oasis show. Zimmerman eventually found himself scrambling for mounts at the Land of Lincoln's downstate runt, Fairmount Park. Here he got his nipples pierced, got hitched to a colleague, got acquainted with top owner Lou O'Brien and got sober. The net result is a humble young rider who is Collinsville's finest -- and one of the nation's most productive: Zimmerman is ranked fourth nationally in wins in 2004 and an imposing 61 percent of his mounts finish in the money. Oh, and he's got a tattoo that says "winning horse" in Chinese. Cool.