A memorial service for jockey agent Ivan Puhich is scheduled for Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Paddock Tavern.
Puhich, who represented riders at tracks throughout the West Coast in a more than 60-year-career, died June 19 in San Diego of what was described as “age related infirmities.” Puhich was 89.
Trainer John Sadler, who is organizing the event, said jockey Tyler Baze, Puhich’s nephew Mike and owner Mike Pegram are likely to join him as speakers during the ceremonies which will also include visual tributes to the colorful and beloved racetracker.
A veteran of World War II serving in the South Pacific, Puhich began working as a jockey agent in the 1950s and continued to do so through the early parts of the present decade. Puhich gained national recognition in 2012 as the representative for Mario Gutierrez when Gutierrez won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness on I’ll Have Another.
“I first met him in 1979 at Golden Gate Fields,” Sadler said. “He had Bill Mahorney and Ivan befriended me and we remained friends for the rest of his life. Just a great old racetrack character. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of people who want to be there and give him a nice sendoff.”
Puhich was instrumental in the early development of Baze, who won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s top apprentice jockey in 2000, and would be associated with a number of other riders, apprentices and veterans, over the years.