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Braulio Baeza

Braulio Baeza
Induction Year: 
1976
Career Years: 
1960-1976 in the U.S.
Number of Mounts: 
17,239
Number of Winners: 
3,140
Winning Percentage: 
18.20%

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Bio

     Braulio Baeza was born on March 26, 1940 in Panama City, Panama. Both his father and grandfather were jockeys in Panama. Baeza began his career in his native land at age 15 and by won 309 races at the age of 19. The following year, Baeza moved to the United States and quickly became recognized as an elite rider.

    Baeza went to Miami in March of 1960 and worked two horses for Fred Hooper, who offered to make Baeza a contract rider. 

    Baeza won on his first mount at Keeneland in 1960 and was the top money-winning rider in North America from 1965-1969. He won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1968 and the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1972 and 1975.

    Baeza rode a total of 24 champions during his career, including nine Hall of Famers: Buckpasser, Dr. Fager, Arts and Letters, Susan’s Girl, Ack Ack, Foolish Pleasure, Affectionately, Damascus and Gallant Bloom.

    In 1963, Baeza won the Kentucky Derby aboard Chateaugay and he won the Belmont in 1961 (Sherluck), 1963 (Chateaugay) and 1969 (Arts and Letters). His Belmont score in 1969 thwarted Majestic Prince’s bid for the Triple Crown.

    In 1972, Baeza was aboard Roberto when he dealt Brigadier Gerard his only career defeat at York Racecourse in England. Other major wins for Baeza include the Travers Stakes (4), Jockey Club Gold Cup (3),Kentucky Oaks (2), Blue Grass Stakes (3), Champagne Stakes (5), Brooklyn Handicap(2), Metropolitan Handicap (2), Suburban Handicap (3), Withers Stakes (4), Wood Memorial, Whitney Handicap (2), D.C. International, Canadian International, Beldame, Florida Derby (2), Fountain of Youth (2), Frizette (3), Go for Wand, Gulfstream Park Handicap, Hopeful (5),Kentucky Jockey Club (2), Matron Stakes (3), Mother Goose, Personal Ensign, Sanford Stakes (2), Saratoga Special (4), Schuylerville Stakes (4), Red Smith Handicap, Spinaway Stakes (3),Test Stakes (2),Vosburgh Stakes (3), Woodward Stakes (4) and the Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap.

    Baeza won 3,140 races in the United States and 873 in Panama for a lifetime total of 4,013. He retired during the Saratoga meet in 1976 because making weight became too difficult.

    Braulio Baeza was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1976.

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