One of the most aggressive and fearless riders in the history of American racing, Calvin Borel is also one of the most accomplished. The Louisiana native is in rare company as one of only nine jockeys to win the Kentucky Derby three or more times and one of only two individuals with more than 1,000 career victories at Churchill Downs.
Borel wasn’t even 10 years old when he began riding at the bush tracks in his home state. He began his professional career in 1983 and amassed more than 5,000 wins and purse earnings of more than $120 million by the time he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2013.
With champion Street Sense (2007), Mine That Bird (2009), and Super Saver (2010), Borel became the first jockey in the history of the sport to win the Kentucky Derby three times in a four-year span. His victory at odds of 50-1 with Mine That Bird was one of the most stunning outcomes in the history of America’s most prestigious race.
Borel also enjoyed tremendous success with the great filly Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year who compiled a perfect 8-for-8 campaign that year. Borel piloted Rachel Alexandra to nine successive stakes victories in the Golden Rod, Martha Washington, Fair Grounds Oaks, Fantasy, Kentucky Oaks, Preakness, Mother Goose, Haskell Invitational, and Woodward.
The winner of the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2010, Borel has won four riding championships at Churchill Downs, three each at Delta Downs and Louisiana Downs, two at Oaklawn Park and Ellis Park, and one each at Turfway Park and Kentucky Downs.
Other major victories for Borel include the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Travers, Alabama, Sword Dancer Invitational, Florida Derby, Stephen Foster Handicap, Apple Blossom Handicap, Arkansas Derby, Clark Handicap, Oaklawn Handicap, Tampa Bay Derby, Jim Dandy, and Super Derby, among others.