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05/24/2010

Pioneering female jockey Denise Boudrot Hopkins dies at 57

May 24, 2010 |  5:44 pm

Jockey Denise Boudrot Hopkins, 57, who became the first female jockey to win a meet title when she captured the autumn riding title at Suffolk Downs in 1974, died May 19 at her farm in Grafton, Vt., her family announced. She had brain cancer, according to the Daily Racing Form.

Riding as Denise Boudrot, she was an apprentice jockey at Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts in 1974. Nicknamed Longshot Lady, she racked up five wins on one day during the fall meeting and finished with more victories than any other jockey.

She won more than 1,000 races in 13 years on the New England circuit and retired in 1985. She married Roland Hopkins, a newspaper publisher who owned race horses.

Born Aug. 8, 1952, in Burlington, Mass., she started riding horses as a child with a 4-H Club. She got a job riding for South Carolina trainer Judi Bresnahan and made her debut as a jockey in 1972.

After retiring from competitive thoroughbred racing, she trained and performed with trick horses.

Click here to read a profile of Boudrot that ran in The Times in 1974.

-- Claire Noland

Photo: Denise Boudrot in 1974. Credit: Associated Press

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