Easily a top ten rider in american racing history.
I used to have an expression when Pat Day was on the lead. I used to say he is going to do the "Pat Day thing". That was to nurse a horse on the lead, let challengers pass him by 3/4 of a length, and then at that point use what he reserved in the tank. Nobody in my mind did it better.
The perfect example can be seen with riders today that everyone thinks are great, are not in the same league as Pat Day.... Take Mike Smith on Paynter in the Belmont. That horse with Junior Alvarado that had little to no shot, came along side to prompt Paynter, and Mike Smith pannicked and let his horse out more. Pat Day would have sat Patient as he always did. Everyone looked at the end of the Belmont and said Mike Smith blew it by opening up the rail (and he did blow it), but in my mind he lost the race on the backstretch by not doing "the Pat Day Thing".....
And to add Pat Day is great for the game!