Can You Identify These Famous Horse Jockeys From an Image?


By: Bambi Turner

7 Min Quiz

Image: TVG Network

About This Quiz

Being a jockey looks pretty easy from the grandstands, right? After all, the horse does all the work, while all the rider really does is hang on tight ... not! If you dream of a career as a jockey, it's not enough to simply be a horse fanatic or possess a need for speed. In fact, humans involved in the horse racing field face the same challenges as any other elite athletes, plus some additional ones that are unique to the jockey profession. 

First of all, you gotta stay as light as possible. For top riders, this generally means hovering close to 116 pounds or so, and eating just enough to maintain your energy while staying within 3 to 7 percent body fat for men, and 8 to 12 percent for women. Given that the average U.S. man has around 18 percent body fat, with 25 percent for the average woman, it's no surprise that eating disorders and the use of diuretics run rampant among jockeys. And then, of course, there are the injuries. With a large group of riders and thousand-pound animals speeding along at 40 mph or so and all vying for the lead, it's no wonder that jockeys get hurt so frequently, and a surprising number are left paralyzed by falls and collisions. 

Yet for those who excel in the sport, all the sacrifices are worth it for the chance to ride a mighty thoroughbred to glory. Think you can recognize the greatest jockeys in the history of racing? Take our quiz to find out!

Hailing from Panama, this jockey moved to the U.S. while still a teenager. Name this record-setting rider.

In his first year on the U.S. racing scene, Eddie Castro won the 2003 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. Two years later, in 2005, he set a national record by winning an unbelievable nine races on a single card. Just 15 years after arriving in the U.S. from Panama, Castro had won more than 2,500 races.


Choose the correct name for this jockey, who racked up an impressive 5,000-plus wins between 1997 and 2018.

Venezuela native Javier Castellano moved to the U.S. in 1997, just in time to become one of the most celebrated riders of the 21st century. He won the Preakness in 2006 and again in 2017, picked up Eclipse Awards for four years straight between 2013 and 2016 and was the top-earning jockey in the country through that same period.


Just four years after moving from Puerto Rico to the U.S. in 2012, this jockey picked up his 1,000th victory. Know his name?

It took Jose Ortiz just four years to go from a novice on the U.S. racing scene to the top spot on the American jockey rankings by number of wins in 2016. The next year, he not only won an Eclipse Award and rode Tapwrit to victory at the Belmont Stakes, but also had greater earnings than any other U.S. rider.


Think you can ID this jockey who ranked in the top 10 earners among all U.S. riders from 2004 through 2015?

Though he was born in Peru, a desire to compete with the best jockeys in the world motivated Rafael Bejarano to move to the heart of horse country, leading him to settle in Louisville, Kentucky in 2002. He found success instantly, winning more races than any other U.S. jockey in 2004 with 455 victories. His winnings topped $12 million that year, and he stayed in the top 10 rankings by annual earnings every year through 2015.


Though he died at age 44, this jockey packed a lot of racing into his short life. Do you recall his name?

Garrett Gomez found great success as a jockey, enjoying a breakout year in 1997 as he won a series of major races. He earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2007 and 2008, but his career was cut short when he died of a drug overdose in 2017.


Pick the correct name for this jockey, who was the oldest in history to win a Triple Crown when he rode American Pharaoh to glory.

Born in Mexico in 1972, Victor Espinoza moved to the U.S. in 1990. In 2002 he came close to a Triple Crown victory when he won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness ... a feat he repeated in 2014. Just one year later, he would finally clinch that Triple Crown after two near misses, becoming both the oldest jockey and first Hispanic rider to take the title.


Remember the name of this jockey who rode Barbaro to victory at the 2006 Kentucky Derby?

After moving to Florida from his native Peru, Edgar Prado won more races than any other U.S. jockey in 1997, 1998 and 1999. In 2006, he and Barbaro claimed victory at the Kentucky Derby, while Prado earned an Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey. Just two years later, he was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame, and his total career wins topped 7,200.


Choose the correct name for this legendary jockey, who won an impressive 22 percent of the 40,000 races he rode in during his long career.

Bill Shoemaker ranks among the best American jockeys of all time, and the New York Times reports that he rode 11 different horses with victories at the Triple Crown series. He won the Belmont Stakes five times, the Kentucky Derby four times and the Preakness twice. Despite an accident that left him paralyzed at the age of 59, he continued in the industry as a trainer.


Who is this jockey known for riding a horse named Orb to victory in the 2013 Kentucky Derby?

Born in the Dominican Republic, Joel Rosario moved to the U.S. before the age of 20 with dreams of racing success. He made rapid progress, going from 1,361st in earnings rank among U.S. jockeys in 2005 to claiming the number 2 ranking in 2013 and 2014. Along the way he won the Kentucky Derby in 2013 and came in first at the Belmont Stakes the next year.


Can you name this hugely successful jockey who was known for his patient and gentle riding technique?

Pat Day's winnings exceeded those of any other American jockey in both 1999 and 2000. Throughout his long career, he won four Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Jockey and had at least one win at all three of the Triple Crown races. including a whopping five wins at the Preakness in Baltimore.


He was 52 years old when he rode Justify to a Triple Crown in 2018, but do you recall this jockey's name?

The only thing more impressive than Mike Smith's 2018 Triple Crown victory is the length of his career. He was already good enough to win Eclipse Awards way back in 1993 and 1994, but kept on racing and winning for several more decades. His persistence paid off with more than $300 million in lifetime winnings and a 2018 Triple Crown win that is historic enough on its own, but even more so when you consider he was 52 at the time.


Before he was an NBC analyst, he won each race in the Triple Crown series twice. Who is this jockey?

Jerry Bailey won 5,800 races throughout his career, including five Breeders' Cup Classics and two wins each at the Derby, Preakness and Belmont. He set a record with seven Eclipse wins for Outstanding Jockey between 1995 and 2003, and later became a beloved TV analyst when his racing days had ended.


A Venezuela native, who is this jockey who moved to the U.S. in 1996 and went on to win three Eclipse Awards?

After settling in the U.S. in 1996, Ramon Dominguez enjoyed steady progress, winning more races than any other U.S. jockey in both 2001 and 2003. He earned three Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Jockey in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and won more than 5,000 races before retiring in 2013 after a serious injury.


From 2004 to 2005, his earnings exceeded those of any other U.S. jockey. Who is he?

Born in Puerto Rico, John Velazquez moved to the U.S. to pursue horse racing before his 20th birthday. He picked up two Kentucky Derby wins in 2011 and 2017, and also won the Belmont Stakes in 2007 and 2012. By the end of 2018, his career victories topped 6,000.


Just 18 when he moved from Panama to the U.S., who is this jockey nicknamed "The Little Master?"

Four years after settling in the U.S., Alex Solis cruised to victory at the 1986 Preakness Stakes. His first Breeders' Cup win came in 2000, and he was chosen for Hall of Fame membership in 2014.


You might remember this jockey from the 2003 flick "Seabiscuit," where he played jockey George Woolf. Who is he?

After turning pro in 1979, Gary Stevens ranked among the best American jockeys throughout the '80s and '90s, earning a spot in the Hall of Fame in 1997. In addition to his turn in "Seabiscuit," he is also known as an analyst for major racing events.


One of history's most famous jockeys, he won the Triple Crown twice in the 1940s. Remember his name?

Ohio native Eddie Arcaro dominated U.S. racing in the '40s and '50s, pulling off unprecedented Triple Crown wins in both 1941, atop Whirlaway, and 1948, riding Citation. He won 5,000 races during his career and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1958.


Even casual sports fans can name this Secretariat jockey, but can you?

New Brunswick native Ron Turcotte rode Secretariat to Triple Crown glory in 1973, marking the first Triple Crown win in a quarter-century. Tragically, Turcotte suffered a racing fall that left him paralyzed in 1978, but led him to pursue a career as an advocate for the disabled.


Can you name this jockey, who had just turned 18 when he rode Affirmed to Triple Crown glory in 1978?

Born in Kentucky in 1960, Steve Cauthen wasn't even old enough to vote when he out-earned every other U.S. jockey in terms of race winnings in 1977. The next year, he became the youngest jockey in history to win the Triple Crown at age 18. Cauthen went on to win more than 3,000 races during his career.


He won the Triple Crown in 1998, but can you name this Louisiana native?

In 1989, Kent Desormeaux shattered racing records by winning 598 races in a single year. He rode Real Quiet to the Triple Crown in 1998, earned a spot in the Hall of Fame in 2004, and had pulled off more than 6,000 wins by 2019.


This jockey stunned racing fans with his longshot win at the 2009 Kentucky Derby, but can you name this Mine That Bird jockey?

Calvin Borel won the 2007 Derby, but was considered a huge longshot when he rode Mine That Bird to victory at the event in 2009. That same year, he also won the prestigious Kentucky Oaks as well as the Preakness Stakes, the second leg in the Triple Crown.


Despite struggles with substance abuse and an early death at age 34, this jockey won nearly 3,500 races. Remember his name?

Chris Antley won 469 races in 1991, more than any other American jockey. This number includes a victory at the Kentucky Derby, which he won again in 1999. The next year, he died at the age of 34 of a suspected overdose, and was inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame in 2015.


Born in Oklahoma in 1937, name this jockey who ranked among the best in the U.S. from the '50s all the way through the '80s.

Don Pierce won nearly 3,500 of his estimated 30,000 career races, picking up $40 million in winnings in a career that spanned three decades. Famous for his success on the SoCal scene, Pierce found great success in handicapped races and events featuring older horses.


Why should guys have all the fun? Name this woman who was the first female to win the iconic Kentucky Oaks race in 2012.

Rosie Napravnik forged a path for women in the field of horse racing when she became the first female to claim the Kentucky Oaks title in 2012, then won it again in 2014. By the end of 2014, she was ranked seventh in the nation in terms of total winnings among American jockeys.


Mount up and see if you can ID this jockey who rode Country House to glory at the 2019 Kentucky Derby.

After moving to the U.S. from France in 2015, Flavien Prat quickly established himself in the racing community with a pair of Breeders' Cup wins in 2016 and 2017. He ranked among the best U.S. jockeys in 2018 and pulled off a win at the Kentucky Derby in 2019.


Born in New Orleans, who is this rider who began racing at the tender age of seven?

Craig Perret mounted his first horse at age 5 and began racing two years later. He was guiding top thoroughbreds to victory before he could drive a car, and won both the Belmont Stakes and the Kentucky Derby in the late '80s.


What is the name of this jockey, who won an Eclipse Award in 1995 after winning 400-plus races in a year, a feat he repeated more than 10 times?

Vancouver native Russel Baze dominated U.S. racing in the '90s and '00s, winning more events than any other rider 10 times between 1992 and 2008. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, and had more than 12,000 total career wins.


A legend in both Canada and the U.S., who is this jockey nicknamed "The General?"

David Gall was born in Saskatchewan in 1941, but went on to win more than 7,300 races throughout North America during his long career. In 1978, he famously pulled off eight wins on a single card at an Illinois track, then won more races than any other U.S. rider in both 1979 and 1981.


Despite not starting riding until age 16, this jockey was racing with the pros by age 18, and winning more races than anyone by age 19. Who is he?

Chris McCarron went from never having ridden a horse to winning 547 races, more than any other U.S. jockey, in the three-year period between 1971 and 1974. Not only that, but his 547 wins were more than any rider in history had ever posted in a single year. He went on to win the Belmont in 1986 and both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness the year after ... then won all three of these races one more time during the '90s.


This jockey was so famous that he appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1958, but can you recall his name?

In addition to his appearance in Time, jockey Bill Hartack showed up on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice throughout his career. One of the top U.S. riders in the '50s, he won the Kentucky Derby five times between 1957 and 1969, and also pulled off three Preakness wins and a victory at the 1960 Belmont Stakes.


Name this jockey who made history when she became the first female to win a Triple Crown race at the 1993 Belmont Stakes.

Sitting atop Colonial Affair, Julie Krone became the first woman ever to win a Triple Crown race at the Belmont Stakes in 1993. Seven years later, she was the first female inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame, and in 2003, she broke yet another barrier as the first woman to win a Breeders' Cup race.


A rare Jamaican jockey to find success on the U.S. scene, who is this rider famous for winning six races on a single card in two different years?

Shaun Bridgmohan was just 13 when he moved from Jamaica to the U.S. in the early '90s. In 1998 he won a whopping six races on a single card on his way to earning the Eclipse Award for Apprentice Jockey. From 2000 to 2015, Bridgmohan consistently ranked among the top 50 U.S. jockeys in terms of annual winnings.


Recall the name of this British-born jockey who rode Count Fleet to Triple Crown glory in 1943?

Born in England in 1907, Johnny Longden relocated to North America as a child. He not only won the Triple Crown atop Count Fleet in 1943 but also out-ranked every other American jockey in terms of winnings in both 1943 and 1945. He almost pulled off a second Triple Crown win in 1969 as trainer to Majestic Prince, but lost the crown when the horse pulled up short at the Belmont Stakes.


He wowed the crowds at Pimlico in Baltimore, MD by winning the Preakness Stakes in 2019. Think you know his name?

As he began his career in 2014, Tyler Gaffalione ranked 439th among U.S. jockeys based on annual winnings. The next year, he earned an Eclipse Apprentice Award, and by 2018 had flown up the rankings to the 11th position by winnings among American jockeys. His biggest victory came in 2019 when he won the Preakness Stakes atop War of Will.


Born in Panama, this jockey moved to the U.S. to pursue a racing career in 1966. Who is he?

Most famous for riding a horse named Sham who was Secretariat's biggest rival, Laffit Pincay dominated U.S. racing in the '70s. He topped the U.S. jockey rankings by wins in 1971, and reached #1 on the earnings chart from 1970 through 1974, and again in 1979. He picked up four Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Jockey in the '70s and was still going strong in 1985 when he earned the award one last time.


She began riding at age 13, and later became the first female to ride in the Kentucky Derby. What's her name?

Diane Crump's foray into horse racing was so controversial that she needed police escorts when she entered or left the track in the late '60s. She made history as the first female rider in the Kentucky Derby in 1970, and went on to win more than 200 races before becoming a successful horse trainer later in life.


His second cousin is a racing icon, but can you name this jockey who won an Eclipse Award in 2000?

Horse racing prowess must run in the genes of the Baze family. After watching second cousin Russell become a legend in the sport, Tyler Baze got his big break as a jockey in 2000. He racked up more than 200 wins that year and also earned an Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. Over the next 15 years, he consistently ranked among the top 100 U.S. jockeys by annual earnings.


Born in the early days of the Civil War, this jockey beat all odds to achieve racing greatness. Who is he?

Born in Kentucky in 1861, Isaac Murphy went on to ride in 11 Kentucky Derbies, winning three of them. He was the first person to be inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame in 1955, and racing experts now estimate his winning percentage at an astounding 34 to 44 percent, making him the Usain Bolt of jockeys.


Remember the name of this racing icon, who was just 17 when he dominated the U.S. racing scene in 1934?

Idaho native Wayne Wright was just 17 when he burst onto the scene to win the 1934 Belmont Stakes, and ended the year as the top-earning American jockey. He won the Kentucky Derby in 1942 and the Preakness three years later, and famously had the opportunity to race atop two different Triple Crown winners, including War Admiral.


Name this Louisiana native who dropped out of high school to pursue a career at the track.

After watching his dad's career as a horse trainer, Joseph Talamo chose pro racing over a high school diploma. He earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in 2007 and ranked almost the top 10 U.S. riders by earnings in 2012.


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