Horse Racing: A Scent of Roses

Even by tack-room standards, stony-faced Willie Shoemaker, 32, seems a little smaller than life. Standing on tiptoe, he is barely 5 ft. tall and weighs only 98 Ibs. But Willie casts a considerable shadow. In 15 years of booting thoroughbreds around the nation's racetracks, he has won more than 4,850 races, and his mounts have earned almost $31 million.

Millionaires beg like mendicants for Shoemaker's services. Trainers claim that a race horse improves by two or three lengths simply by having Willie on its back. Bettors lucky enough to back him on one of his hot days (eight times in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!