To win the Kentucky Derby at least
once is part of every jockey's dream, but to win it two, three, four, and even
five times really puts a jockey's name in high regard. Featured here are the 10
jockeys with the most Kentucky Derby wins in history, and some of them you can
still see riding today.
Victor Espinoza: Espinoza finally got his Triple
Crown victory in 2015 with American Pharoah. He won both the Kentucky Derby and
Preakness with War Emblem (2002) and California Chrome (2014), but did not
capture the Belmont with them.
Calvin Borel: The recently retired jockey had a
lot of success on the Churchill Downs track, including three Kentucky Derby
wins with Street Sense (2007), Mine That Bird (2009), and Super Saver (2010).
He was the leading jockey at Churchill Downs for four meets.
Kent Desormeaux: Already winning the Kentucky
Derby with Real Quiet (1998), Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), and Big Brown (2008), Desormeaux
is looking for his fourth Kentucky Derby win with this year’s Santa Anita Derby
winner, Exaggerator. Real Quiet lost the Triple Crown by a nose in a photo
Gary Stevens: Stevens was second in the 2015
Kentucky Derby with Firing Line and will likely be seen riding Mor Spirit, one
of Bob Baffert’s Derby hopefuls, this year. One of Steven’s best known mounts
was Winning Colors, the last filly to win the Kentucky Derby in 1988. Stevens
won the 1995 Kentucky Derby and Belmont with Thunder Gulch, and missed the 1997
Triple Crown by 1 3/4 lengths with Silver Charm.
Bill Shoemaker: Shoemaker’s Kentucky Derby wins
came with Swaps (1955), Tommy Lee (1959), Lucky Debonair (1965), and Ferdinand
(1986). In 1957, Shoemaker was second with Gallant Man after misjudging the
finish line and standing up in his stirrups too soon. He lost to Bill Hartack
on Iron Liege that year.
Angel Cordero, Jr.: Cordero, Jr. was the jockey of Kentucky Derby winners Cannonade
(1974), Bold Forbes (1976), and Spend a Buck (1985). He was born into
Thoroughbred racing through his family and stuck with it. Cordero, Jr. now
works as a jockey agent.
Bill Hartack: Hartack ties the record for the
most Kentucky Derby wins. He won with Iron Liege (1957), Venetian Way (1960),
Decidedly (1962), Northern Dancer (1964), and Majestic Prince (1969). Decidedly
ran the fifth fastest Kentucky Derby and Northern Dancer ran the third fastest.
Eddie Arcaro: Arcaro ties with Hartack for
winning five times, but two of Arcaro’s mounts were Triple Crown winners, those
two horses being Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948). Arcaro also won the
Kentucky Derby with Lawrin (1938), Hoop Jr. (1945), and Hill Gail (1952).
Whirlaway, Citation, and Hill Gail were all owned by Calumet Farm.
Earl Sande: Sande only had three Kentucky
Derby wins, but one of those was Gallant Fox, the 1930 Triple Crown winner. His
other winning mounts were Zev (1923) and Flying Ebony (1925). He became a
trainer after retiring as a jockey.
Isaac Murphy: Murphy is the oldest jockey on
this list. He won the Kentucky Derby with Buchanan (1884), Riley (1890), and Kingman
(1891). The National Turf Writers Association established the Isaac Murphy
Award in 1995 and it is given to the jockey with the highest winning percentage
for the year in North America. The winning jockey must ride at least 500 times
in that same year.
By Christine Oser