Frank Hayes, an amateur jockey, achieved an astonishing feat in 1923 when he won a horse race despite being dead. This unusual and tragic event took place at Belmont Park in New York.
Frank Hayes, a 35-year-old jockey, had been an exercise rider for various stables before finally getting a chance to compete in a professional race. On June 4, 1923, he found himself aboard a horse named Sweet Kiss in the fifth race at Belmont Park.
As the race progressed, Hayes and Sweet Kiss were trailing behind the rest of the pack. However, as they approached the final stretch, something unexpected happened. Frank Hayes suffered a massive heart attack and died on horseback. Despite his lifeless body, Sweet Kiss continued to run, responding to the weight of the jockey's body that was still slumped in the saddle.
Incredibly, Sweet Kiss crossed the finish line in first place, giving Frank Hayes a posthumous victory. Spectators and officials were unaware of the jockey's condition until the horse came to a stop after the race. It was then that they realized Frank Hayes had passed away during the race.
The victory sparked both astonishment and somberness among the racing community and the public. It was a bizarre and tragic incident that defied all expectations. The cause of Frank Hayes' heart attack remains unknown, but it was likely due to the physical strain of the race combined with an undiagnosed medical condition.
Frank Hayes' posthumous win made headlines around the world, capturing the imagination of many. It became a legendary story in the horse racing community, with Hayes forever remembered as the jockey who won a race despite being dead. To this day, his remarkable achievement is often recounted as a testament to the unpredictable nature of life and the indomitable spirit of both humans and horses.
The story of Frank Hayes serves as a reminder of the extraordinary events that can unfold in the realm of sports, showcasing the unexpected triumphs and tragedies that become etched in history.