Diane Nelson dies
Diane J. Nelson, a multiple graded-stakes winning jockey who rode over 1,000 winners while capitalizing on her good looks with a modeling career, has died. She was 54. Nelson died July 5, according to a post on the Moloney Family Funeral Homes of New York’s website. There was no cause of death listed and no obituary. A memorial service was held Monday at Mother Teresa Tribute Center at Nassau Suffolk Crematory in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y. Nelson was the sixth female jockey in North America to reach 1,000 winners. She had 1,095 victories from 9,905 career races and purse earnings of $19,106,392, according to Equibase. Nelson was one of the elite women jockeys in the sport, although she never rode in any of most prestigious Triple Crown or Breeders’ Cup races. She rode regularly on the highly competitive New York circuit, where at times she was the lone woman. Nelson’s career began at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack on Feb. 27, 1986. She rode her last race at the same track on Jan. 20, 2007. She won eight graded stakes races in her career, including the Grade I Prioress Stakes with Acey Deucey in 2005 at Saratoga.