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Clarence Picou

Born October 16, 1931 - Port Arthur, TX

Died November 11, 1998 - Edmond, Oklahoma

Clarence Picou was from Port Acres, Texas. He came from a very large family with 16 siblings. Clarence's younger brother followed him into the Professional Jockey world and later into the Professional Thoroughbred Horse Training industry.  


Clarence and his brother Jimmy had a small stature favorable to being a jockey, and they began to learn about the horse racing business from area farmers and horse owners.  As a teenager, Clarence began his racing career riding in match races in southeast Texas. They competed in Texas and at a Louisiana track later known as Delta Downs Tracks.


He began his professional career at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on January 1, 1948, winning his first race on January 13 on Border Sis.  Five times during a 13-day meet at Bowie Park in Maryland, he rode three winners in one day, and on another day, he won five races. 

On June 24, 1948, at Narragansett Park, he Won 5 of 5 races (all his mounts.) Betting was so heavy on a couple of races that it was said that the track lost money on two of his wins.   


He was the Leading Apprentice Jockey in 1948 and finished second nationally with over 250 wins to the famous Johnny Longden in overall standings with 270 wins. He rode at tracks from Louisiana to New York. His Accomplishments were so noteworthy that he was featured in articles in the Time Magazine, December 6, 1948 edition, and the Life Magazine, December 27, 1948 edition.


After being Drafted into the Army, Clarence served two years during the Korean War (1953-54.) He returned briefly to racing and ended his riding career in March 1957 at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on a winner.  


After a brief absence from racing, he returned in the early 1960s as a trainer. His first Thoroughbred winner was in 1963 at Jefferson Downs (New Orleans).


Winners include Jim's Orbit (TX) - Ohio Derby at Thistledown and the Derby Trial at Churchill in 1988 (which qualified the horse to run in the Kentucky Derby, where it finished 10th); 

Eskimo's Angel - Louisiana Breeders Cup in 1992 and Louisiana Matchmaker in 1994. Free Spirit's Joy (LA) - 1991 Grade I Super Derby at Louisiana Downs (at 28-1 odds) and other stakes winners. 


Professional Jockey Statistics 1948 through 1951


Starts (Mounts) Wins       2nd       3rd         Horse Earnings

2,113                   360          281      250                 $748,385

Those 1951 Horse wins in 2022 equal around $ 8.4 Million

*Jockeys earn 10% of the horse's earnings



Professional Thoroughbred Trainer Statistics 1963 - 1998


Starts           Firsts,          Seconds        Thirds

5,929             884                    871             763

Including 51 stakes winners, 5 Graded winners

Horses earned $7,691,662*


Those 1963-98 Horse wins in 2022 equal around $28,000,000

*Trainers generally earned 10% of the horse or horse owner's earnings


Top Horses as a Trainer

FREE SPIRIT'S JOY       Won Grade 1 Louisiana Super Derby 1991  LA-bred and born


JIM'S ORBIT           Won Grade 2 Ohio Derby, 2nd IL Derby 1988       TX-bred and born.   Won Derby Trial, and ran in

      the Kentucky Derby in 1988


SAINTLY PROSPECTOR        Won Omaha Gold Cup 


DARBY'S DAUGHTER      Won Miss Grillo Stakes – New York

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