Jacinto Vasquez

Jacinto Vasquez was a leading apprentice rider in his native country of Panama before moving to the United States in 1960. Based mostly in New York and Florida, Vasquez won 5,231 races in his career and captured the Kentucky Derby twice.

Jacinto Vasquez (Bill Mochon/Museum Collection)
Inducted

1998

Born

Jan. 4, 1944, Panama City, Panama

Career

1959-1996

Wins

5,231

Earnings

$85,754,515

Racing Record

14.01

Win %

Biography

Jacinto Vasquez was a leading apprentice rider in his native country of Panama before moving to the United States in 1960. Based mostly in New York and Florida, Vasquez won 5,231 races in his career and captured the Kentucky Derby twice.

Vasquez is best known as the regular rider of Hall of Famer Ruffian, riding the legendary filly in eight of her 10 career victories. He also rode Hall of Famers Genuine Risk, Foolish Pleasure, Forego, Manila, and Princess Rooney, as well as champions Christmas Past, Revidere, Risen Star, Smile, and Lemhi Gold.

On two occasions, Vasquez defeated Triple Crown winner Secretariat (aboard Angle Light in the Wood Memorial and with Onion in the Whitney). He won the Kentucky Derby in 1975 with Foolish Pleasure and in 1980 when Genuine Risk became only the second filly to win the race.

Vasquez was the leading rider at Calder’s winter meet five times. In 1967, he won six races on two individual cards at Atlantic City, including a six-race sweep. In the final two decades of his career, Vasquez won 268 stakes races.

For eight consecutive years (1970 through 1977), Vasquez ranked among the top 10 North American riders in purse earnings. His major wins included the Travers (1970, 1979), Champagne (1974, 1979), Coaching Club American Oaks (1975, 1976, 1982), Brooklyn Handicap (1983, 1989, 1990), Test (1972, 1974, 1975), Kentucky Oaks (1983), and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (1986), among others.

Vasquez was 15th all time in wins when he retired.

Achievements

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 1975 Kentucky Derby — Foolish Pleasure
Won the 1980 Kentucky Derby — Genuine Risk

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the 1986 Sprint — Smile 

Other Highlights

Won the Coaching Club American Oaks — 1975, 1976, 1982
Won the Brooklyn Handicap — 1983, 1989, 1990
Won the Travers Stakes — 1970, 1979
Won the Test Stakes — 1972, 1974, 1975
Won the Champagne Stakes — 1974, 1979
Won the Kentucky Oaks — 1983

Media

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