This historical Delgado watercolor of the late great Bill Shoemaker was created in 1986. It shows "The Shoe" winning his fourth Kentucky Derby aboard Ferdinand with Alyseba ridden by Chris McCarron right behind him . Shortly afterwards the painter met and presented the jockey the number one lithograph in the editon. Shoemaker was pleased by the exquisite work and the moment it captured for eternity when he held his hand up in defiance to the doubters that expressed that perhaps he should have retired earlier. "This was such an exhibition of a personal triumph. A man who has accomplished so much before, that this moment in his later years of racing became a pinnacle of an illustrious career. When I met him and showed him the work, he smiled and his eyes sparkled when he stated he would hang it the entrance of his home where everyone who enters would see it first. "I just had to paint it right away after viewing that race for it was so exciting that I needed to express it on paper immediately. For this reason it has always been a favorite of mine" said Delgado.
Here is a quote about Bill from another racing legend that Delgado has painted. "He was one of the greatest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing in my life," said Chris McCarron, the retired Hall of Fame jockey who rode with Shoemaker and who is now general manager of Santa Anita Park. "Forget about his ability to communicate with horses. His compassion for people was second to none. He stuck around for as long as he did for his daughter (Amanda)."
Shoemaker won the Kentucky Derby four times, the Preakness twice and the Belmont Stakes five times. He became the oldest jockey to capture the Kentucky Derby in 1986 aboard Ferdinand at the age of 54.
"Bill Shoemaker, pound for pound, was one of the best athletes of the 20th century, with a rare combination of poise, grace and courage," NTRA commissioner Tim Smith said. "He was an ambassador for our game, and the entire sport will miss him."