A memorial service for former jockey Alex Maese is scheduled for Sunday at noon in the Chandelier Room of the Turf Club at .
Maese, 83, died June 14 — two weeks after developing a staph infection following back surgery. He was one of Southern California’s top jockeys for many years, winning 1,981 races. In 1966, he received Santa Anita’s prestigious .
Maese, a San Marino resident, regularly worked out at the at Duarte Road and First Avenue.
He elected to have the back surgery because of injuries he suffered in a racing spill 30 years ago.
“He went in as an incredibly fit 83-year-old,” Maese’s son Christian told the Pasadena Star-News. “It was in his mind that it would be a routine surgery that was going to improve his life.”
Maese rode in the 1960 Kentucky Derby but was probably best known as the rider for Terry’s Secret, winner of the 1964 Del Mar Futurity, the 1965 Del Mar Handicap and the 1965 Hollywood Derby.
Maese starred in football at Anaheim High School, but his small stature led him to try riding racehorses. He was elected to the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.