Three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel is nearing another milestone in an already outstanding career just two wins shy of reaching 5,000 career victories. Photo at right is Calvin Borel with 1954 Kentucky Derby winning jockey Ray York at the Kentucky Derby Museum.
Borel, 46, could have reached that important milestone Thursday at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana, where he rode two races. In the third race of the day when aboard Ferrous Farm’s Belong to B’sal, that 3-year-old maiden broke awkwardly but moved quickly to the fore, made the pace until upper stretch with splits of 21.92 and 45.68 but then gave way grudgingly, finishing 2 1/4-lengths behind the victorious Ali Maccool.
In the sixth race, when astride Frank Fletcher Racing’s Boss Man Rocket, Borel settled that 2-year-old maiden making his third start behind New Phoenix Stable and Coffeepot Stable’s eventual winner Saturdaysatbernies, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan and trained by Wayne Catalano. Boss Man Rocket challenged for command at the furlong grounds but could not sustain the bid, beaten a length and a half for all of it.
“I’m trying to get him to relax and finish up a little bit,” Borel said. “I got him back today and he finished, but he didn’t finish as good as I thought he would. No excuse, but I think he’s a little bit better horse than that and we’re going to find out later in the year that he is.”
Now everyone will have to wait at least until Friday when racing resumes at the FairGrounds. Should Borel win with two more races, he would join a list of only 25 jockeys in North American Thoroughbred history to reach the 5,000-career-win milestone. Current Fair Grounds regular Mark Guidry, also a native Louisianan, is among the nine active jockeys to have reached that mark.
Major racing wins for Calvin Borel include: Super Derby (1991), Arkansas Derby (1993), Count Fleet (1989, 1995), Falls City Handicap (1996, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008), Apple Blossom Handicap (1997, 2001), Fleur de Lis Handicap (1997, 2009, 2010), Essex Handicap (1998, 2007), Clark Handicap (1999), Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap (1999), Bashford Manor Stakes (2000, 2008), Oaklawn Handicap (2000), Bourbon Stakes (2002), Silverbulletday Stakes (2003), Ack Ack Handicap (1996, 1998, 1999), Stephen Foster Handicap (2006), Amsterdam (2006), Tampa Bay Derby (2007), Travers Stakes (2007), Sword Dancer (2007), Alabama Stakes (2007), Jim Dandy Stakes (2007), Razorback Breeders’ Cup Handicap (2008), Golden Rod Stakes (2002,2008), Hal’s Hope Handicap (2009), FairGrounds Oaks (2009), Fantasy Stakes (2009), Kentucky Oaks (2009), Louisville Stakes (2009), Haskell Invitational (2009), Woodward Stakes (2009), Mother Goose Stakes (2009),Kentucky Jockey Club (2000, 2008, 2009), Derby Trial (2010), Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (1992, 1993, 1994), Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap (1998, 1999, 2003), Delaware Oaks (1998), Louisville Distaff (1999, 2004, 2007, 2009), Florida Derby (2012), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (2006), Kentucky Derby (2007, 2009, 2010), and the Preakness Stakes (2009).
Good Luck Calvin!