The jockey who won a race despite being DEAD… unbelievable story of Frank Hayes and his mid-race heart attack

THIS is the unbelievable story of the jockey who won a race despite being DEAD.

Frank Hayes suffered a fatal heart attack near the end of a two-mile contest at Belmont Part in New York, US.

Incredibly, his limp, lifeless body remained in the saddle as the horses stampeded around the track, jumping fences in a rush to the winning post.


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No one could catch the 20-1 outsider Sweet Kiss, a suprise winner over the much fancied Gimme by just a head.

But much greater shock was to come when Hayes' body dropped out of the saddle as people rushed in to celebrate.

Reports said track doctor John Voorhees ran over to examine Hayes but pronounced him dead 'immediately'.

It was the doctor's opinion that the jockey – whose actual age was not known but put at between 23 and 35 – suffered a mid-race heart attack.

Quite what caused the heart attack has been shrouded in mystery ever since the incident in 1923.

One theory was that it may have been brought on by his extreme weight cut before the race.

A report from the time said he had lost just under a stone in the days leading up to the contest.

Another report said the weight loss was only a contributory factor and that his excitement of riding in the pack ultimately led to his demise.

And so it was that, technically, Hayes never got to enjoy his first and only winner as he was dead when the horse crossed the line.

A CNN report states Sweet Kiss never ran again.

And the horse even picked up the nickname Sweet Kiss Of Death.

Hayes' achievement landed him a place in the Guinness Book of Records for being the 'only jockey to ride to victory after his own death'.


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