TVG's LEGENDS: PAT DAY
In this installment, retired jockey and host Gary Stevens welcomes Hall-of-Fame jockey Pat Day as his guest to talk about his extraordinary career and the moment that changed everything.
Pat Day, one of the most intuitive and accomplished riders in Thoroughbred racing enjoyed success almost immediately on the race track, but there was a huge void off of it. In fact, there was a moment in 1984 that would alter the course of his life.
"Patient Pat", as he was often referred to explains that early in his career when he achieved instant stardom that he was not prepared for the immediate meteroric rise to the top of the jockey standings and thus did not appreciate, respect or know how to deal with it. He took everything for granted because it came so easy with his natural ability and talent. He was being reckless by burning the candle at both ends/stretching himself too thin by exercising horses in the wee hours of the morning, riding all day and then staying up all night with non-stop boozing and partying. But with all this excess and sudden success, Pat felt something deep inside was missing in his life.
In 1982 when he was in a positon to be leading rider in the country, he lead himself to believe that, "this is it...that's the answer." The world would have you to beliee that once an individual reaches a certain level of success that you're gonna be happy. So in 1982 and also 1983, Pat Day secured the leading rider titles but he still had a gnawing void that was not going away.
As the, "Divine One", would have it, Pat Day recounts how one night in 1984 while he was in a hotel room and couldn't sleep, that he started flipping through tv channels and came across a Jimmy Swaggert program (evangelist) and quickly became bored with it so he turned it off and went to sleep - seemingly for hours. Upon awakening, he felt he had slept at least 6-7 hours and felt rested but not alone in the room. To his surprise when he turned the tv on, the Jimmy Swaggert show WAS STILL ON so he knew that he had only dozed off for a few minutes NOT hours as he first surmised. Almost suddenly he felt a comforting, calming feeling of not being alone and the void was starting to slowly lift. He felt so helplessly overwhelmed by this presence that he knew it was Christ in the room with him. He immediately welcomed Christ into his heart and fell to the floor weeping...finally feeling fulfilled.
From this moment on, he knew his ultimate calling was to serve "Him" - this was a personal alter call. He now knew what he was lacking and what he needed in his life. His career took on a new and God-given meaning.
Other points of discussion touched upon his controversial ride aboard WILD AGAIN in the inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Classic, his devastating success partnering with D. Wayne Lukas despite a, "Love/Hate" relationship, EASY GOER - the best horse he ever rode, LIL E. TEE - his 1992 Kentucky Derby winner and examining his strengths and weaknesses as a rider.
Pat Day was presented the "Big Sport of Turfdom" award at the end of his career which goes to someone who represents Thoroughbred racing in a positive light. In reality the award signified the entire career of Pat Day and how he conducted himself in the sport.
When he rose to accept the award, he took the opportunity again to testify - many times Pat Day was called to ride but throughout his career he realized that there was a higher calling. He said, "there's no joy like the joy of leading someone into the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Races come and races go but eternity is a long time."
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|