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Raymie Woolfe passes away in Viginia at 82

Posted: May 17, 2018 10:09 a.m.
Updated: May 18, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Raymond G. (Raymie) Woolfe Jr. who, at 16 while a high school student in Camden, became the youngest jockey at the time to win a stake at a New York track when he won the Saratoga Steeplechase on Hampton Roads, passed away Thursday, May 10, in Charlottesville, Va.

A resident of Troy, Va., Woolfe was born in New York, N.Y., on July 31, 1935. He was the son of of the late Carolina Cup Race and Camden Training Center director Raymond G. Woolfe Sr., and Ruth Ferguson Woolfe.

Raymond G. Woolfe Sr., trained Hampton Roads for owner Marion duPont Scott. Following Woolfe’s victory aboard Hampton Roads, New York sportswriters wrote of famed jockey Eddie Arcaro carrying “the kid’s” saddle from the winner’s circle.

Raymie attended the University of Virginia and was a member of the polo team, before joining the U.S. Marines. After leaving the Corps as a Sergeant, he graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and became a photojournalist. After an apprenticeship with famed New York fashion and Kennedy family photographer, Mark Shaw, Raymie shot advertising, fashion, society, and celebrity print layouts. In 1968, he covered the Chicago Democratic convention and ensuing riots.

Before long, his love of thoroughbred racing drew him back to a job at the Daily Racing Form. During his time with the DRF, he wrote the acclaimed Secretariat, a book many consider the definitive work on the great 1973 Triple Crown winner. He also wrote the well-received Steeplechasing, published in 1981. In 2016, his highly praised Doomed Horse Soldiers of Bataan – The Incredible Stand of the 26th Cavalry was published, with a moving foreword by the late Col. Edwin P. Ramsey, of the 26thCavalry.

Raymie is survived by two daughters and a sister, Ruth (Tudy) Bunn, of Oceanside, Calif.

Donations in his memory will be gratefully accepted by The American Steeplechase Injured Jockeys Fund, Inc., c/o Colvin G Ryan, 22359 Polecat Hill Rd, Middleburg, VA 20117-3273; or the National Steeplechase Museum, 200 Knights Hill Rd., Camden, SC 29020.

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