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Jimmy Picou

Born January 6, 1934 - Jefferson County, TX

Died July 19, 2019 - Cooper City, Florida

 Jimmy was from Port Acres, Texas.  He came from a very large family with 16 siblings.  Jimmy followed his older brother into the Professional Jockey world and later into the Professional Thoroughbred Horse Training industry.  


Like his brother Clarence, Jimmy had the small stature favorable to being a jockey, and he began to learn the horse racing business from area farmers and horse owners.  Picou began riding horses on his family's farm in his youth. He traveled to the racetrack in the late 1940s, hoping to become a jockey. He began his riding career with a victory in his first race aboard Miss Maggy at Belmont in the autumn of 1949 and won approximately 200 races as a jockey.

In 1954, Picou retired from the saddle and became an assistant for trainer Walter Kelley. Picou started his own stable in 1960 and won his first race as a trainer at Aqueduct that year.

James "Jimmy" Picou also rode races and became a well-respected and successful Thoroughbred trainer based in New York, racing and winning at Belmont Park, Saratoga, and track in south Florida. He trained a winner of the Travers Stakes in Saratoga and finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby with a horse named Mr. Brick.


Jimmy also won the 1997 Hong Kong International Cup with the horse VAL'S PRINCE at Sha Tin. Val's Prince was the first U.S.-based winner of the Hong Kong International and the first time an American Horse won in this Hong Kong race against the Emperor's horse. Jimmy remarked, "Val Prince was a great horse. Taking him to Hong Kong and winning was very special."


Shortly before he developed Val's Prince into one of the nation's leading turf horses, Picou saddled Diplomatic Jet to three grade I victories in 1996 – the Manhattan, Man o'War, and Turf Classic Invitational.


Statistics as a Jockey           1950 through 1952 (as recorded in American Racing Manual)


Starts (Mounts) Wins     2nd       3rd Horse       Earnings

         1,083           110      109                  118       $359,380

Those 1952 Horse wins in 2022 equal around $ 4 Million

*Jockeys earn 10% of the horse's earnings


Statistics as a Thoroughbred Trainer   1962 through 2004

Starts          Firsts         Seconds       Thirds

6,488              656                 867          862

Jimmy Trained over 422 winners.

As a trainer, Jimmy's horses earned $15,067,701*


Those 1962-2004 Horse wins in 2022 equal around $55,000,000

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


Top or most successful horses trained by Jimmy Picou:


MR. BRICK         Grade 1 winner of the Sapling Stakes, Withers Stakes, and finished 6th in the 1964 Kentucky Derby to winner NORTHERN DANCER. 

DIPLOMATIC JET Won Grade 1 1996 Turf Classic Invitational (1996 Caesars International Handicap: ESPN Broadcast) and 1996 Man O' War Stakes at Belmont

FEELING GALLANT      Grade 3 winner - Texas-bred and born

*VAL'S PRINCE           Grade 1 winner and Hong Kong Cup


PARLAY ME                 Grade 2 winner

*WILLOW HOUR        Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga 1981

ROMAN ENVOY          Grade 3 winner

FALL ASPEN                Grade 1 winner of Matron Stakes

STUB                           Grade 1 winner of Sorority Stakes

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