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  • William Harmatz was an American Thoroughbred horse racing jockey who won the 1959 Preakness Stakes aboard Royal Orbit. The recipient of the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1960, given to a jockey who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct, on and off the racetrack, Harmatz was inducted in the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Harmatz was reported in the media as "Willie", "Bill" and by people who knew him, as "Billy". He was still a child when his family relocated to Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles, California where he was a star gymnast at Theodore Roosevelt High School. As a teenager, he began exercising Thoroughbred racehorses which would lead to a professional riding career beginning in 1953 at the Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico. The following year, on April 23, 1954, he had six consecutive wins at Bay Meadows Racetrack. In 1957, he was part of a rare triple dead heat at Hollywood Park Racetrack with fellow jockeys George Taniguchi and Bill Shoemaker.

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