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My Favorite Jockeys

The Jockeys from Season 1 - series on Animal Planet

When you've been following thoroughbred horse racing for as long as I have, you see all kinds of rides. Jockeys have one of the most difficult jobs in professional sports, riding against a number of other riders who all want to get to the wire first, on horses ten times their size. Split second decisions are essential and danger is never too far away. Sometimes they do it well, sometimes not so well.


In my forty years of going to the races, I have always identified riders that I like more than others, not only for their race riding ability, but also for the person inside the silks. It takes a special jockey to be one of my top 10 all-time favorites. Please enjoy my list, and feel free to tell me who would make your list. Follow this link for a visual countdown of My Favorite Jockeys.


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Older Comments about My Favorite Jockeys...

Top 5 1.Jerry Bailey 2. Frankie Dettori 3. Garrett Gomez 4. Angel Cordero 5. Pat Valenzuela
Every name I see in the comments is deserving. Let's not overlook the European jockeys though. Frankie Dettori has won major races in about a dozen countries...he makes my list.
How do you not rank Jerry Bailey in your top 10 . He has only won every major race won. Oh and Calvin can only win at 1 track CD he is horrible every where else especially where the rail is dead aka Keeneland
Calvin Borel.. He is the Kentucky derby machine and hes not afraid to drop the mits and get into a fight woohoo!
Mike Smith,William Shoemaker,Gary Stevens,Jerry Bailey,Chris McCarron,Pat Day,Edgar Prado
great list brian..and wow its harder than i thought....jerry bailey, the shoe, and glad you mentioned one of my favorites jorge velasquez.....
Here are some of my favorite jockeys, in no particular order: Jerry Bailey, Ron Turcotte, Angel Cordero, Steve Cauthen, Cash Asmussen, Laffit Pincay, Ramon Dominguez
A little trivia about Pincay. When he retired early in 2005 with some 9,400 victories, Mike Smith asked him if he could retain his saddle, to get 10,000 wins with the saddle, to which Pincay agreed. That year's Derby was to have the first 20 horse field since 1984, in which Pincay recorded his last victory on Swale. Smith won the Derby with Giacomo, meaning that the saddle had recorded 2 Ky Derby victories 21 years apart. And the real irony was, that both winners had the #10 saddle cloth, and the horse that ran second wore #18. You would've had the exacta both years, and wouldn't it have been nice to have a 50-1 on top of a 70-1(Closing Argument)? The Superfecta that year paid something like $875,000 for a $1 bet!!!!
My Fav of all time has to be Gary Steven...Just love the way he ride horse. Also came close to winning the triple crown a couple of times.
I've always considered Antley underrated.. He was great in stretch.. Glad you gave him some love.
I had a hard time leaving both Romero and McCarron off this list.
Love this list! It would be hard for me to do a top 10. Randy Romero might actually be at the top of my list.
Brian, an amazing list of jockeys, all class! I'd have to add Pat Day for sure, and also Chris Emigh! LOL!
My list would be: 1)Pat Day; 2)Larry Melancon; 3)Jon Court; 4)Randy Romero; 5)Laffit Pincay; 6)Chris Antley; 7)Chris McCarron; 8)Jerry Bailey; 9)Garrett Gomez; 10)RA "Cowboy" Jones(local favorite @ Ellis Park. Possibly the only jockey in the history of horse racing, that has was in 6 different decades. And, is still possible to ride now. He's a favorite of Larry Jones(no relation)).
My list is almost completely different; Fires is one of my all-time faves but he's in the top four..idk, tho, picking fave jockeys is hard. Desormouex, Fiorentino, Jocson, McCarron, Stevens, Maple, Smith...hhmm, who else...
What happened to Chris "I've-broke-every-bone-in-my-body" McCarron? I'm surprised he's not on the list.

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