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Frank D. Adams

Frank D. Adams
Induction Year: 
1927, Port Chester, N.Y.
Nov. 12, 2004, Southern Pines, N.C.
Career Years: 
Number of Mounts: 
Number of Winners: 
Winning Percentage: 

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Seven-time leading steeplechase jockey Frank David “Dooley” Adams was the first to ride winners of more than 30 jump races in a single year when he won 35 from 108 mounts in 1951, a record he surpassed in 1954 when he won 38 races from 125 mounts.


Born in 1927 in Port Chester, N.Y., Adams won his first race, a brush event at Agua Caliente, at the age of 14. He started riding professionally in the United States as a 16-year-old in 1943, and at 19 tied with John Magee with 28 wins atop the national steeplechase leaderboard in 1946. Ranked second in wins each of the next two years, Adams then topped the jockey list in six of the next seven years (1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955).


Winner of nearly every major steeplechase event, Adams won both the Saratoga and Beverwyck handicaps four times each; the Harbor Hill, Temple Gwathmey, and Brook three times each; and the Grand National twice.


Adams rode many of the top jumpers of his era, including Hall of Fame members Neji, a three-time champion, and Elkridge, a two-time champion. During his 14-year career, Adams was never penalized for a riding infraction.


Adams retired with 301 steeplechase wins, a record at the time. He also won 36 flat races for a total of 337 overall wins.