Kentucky Derby Jockeys

Commercial Content | 21+ | T&Cs Apply

This year, the “most exciting two minutes in sports” will take place on Saturday, May 1, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby jockeys have prepared all year for this prestigious race.

The Kentucky Derby 2020 jockeys ran for the roses this year without spectators, but the field was as strong as ever. Kentucky Derby horses are the best thoroughbreds in the sport. John Velazquez brought horse Authentic to victory, upsetting the favorite Tiz the Law.

kentucky derby jockeys

Kentucky Derby Jockeys 2020

Here are the participating Kentucky Derby 2020 jockeys, and the horses they will be riding. This is excellent preparation and insight for any Kentucky Derby online betting.

Manny Franco

Manny Franco will be riding Tiz the Law, who will be the favorite in the Kentucky Derby. He has the strongest horse in the race and rode him to victory in the Belmont Stakes earlier this year.

Franco will be looking for his first Kentucky Derby win, most recently finishing 18th in last year’s race.

John Velazquez

John Velazquez will be aboard Authentic, even though he hasn’t been riding him regularly this year. The Bob Baffert trained horse will be in good hands with one of the top jockeys in the sport.

Velazquez has won the Kentucky Derby before, atop Animal Kingdom back in 2011. He has been amongst the top ten highest-earning jockeys for the past 15 seasons.

Brian Hernandez Jr.

Brian Hernandez Jr. will ride Art Collector in the 2020 Kentucky Derby. The horse’s owner has had high praise for the jockey and looks to upset the favorite.

This horse is 5-1-0 in nine starts, and Hernandez will be looking for his first Kentucky Derby win with him. He is 0-2 in his previous two starts, the latest one being an eighth-place finish in 2017.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2003. He is one of the most known jockeys in the sport.

He will be riding Honor A.P., a horse trained by John Shirreffs. The only other Kentucky Derby win of Smith’s career came from a Shirreff’s trained horse, Giacomo, back in 2005.

Paco Lopez

Paco Lopez has only been among the Kentucky Derby jockeys in 2018, finishing 11th. He will aim for a better ride on top of Ny Traffic this year.

He also rode this horse in the Haskell, where they finished second. Saffie Joseph Jr. is the trainer of Ny Traffic, and it is his first trip to the Kentucky Derby.

Samy Camacho

Samy Camacho will be aboard King Guillermo, who he rode to victory in both the Arkansas Derby and Tampa Bay Derby. This horse is owned by former baseball star Victor Martinez.

It will be Camacho’s first run for the roses. Last year, the jockey was ranked 24th in wins and 60th by earnings.

Florent Geroux

Florent Geroux has experience as one of the KY Derby jockeys but has yet to win the race in his previous four starts. The closest he has been was with Gun Runner, finishing third in 2016.

This year he will be riding Thousand Words, who is trained by Bob Baffert. This horse the first three starts of his career but hit a dry patch after that. Geroux has a long list of achievements in his career and needs a Kentucky Derby win to top it all.

Ricardo Santana Jr.

Ricardo Santana Jr. has been one of the Kentucky Derby jockeys on five occasions, not exactly coming close in any of those appearances. His closest finish was eighth last year.

He will be riding Max Player, who hasn’t always been ridden by Santana Jr. He used to be ridden by Joel Rosario, but a switch in trainers called for a change in jockeys. Steve Asmussen has the most starts without a win amongst Kentucky Derby trainers.

Javier Castellano

Javier Castellano is used to Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby but has yet to cross the finish line first in 13 starts. He was able to get a third-place finish in 2018, which is his closest to date.

He will be riding Caracaro, one of the least experienced horses in the field. Castellano did ride him in both the Peter Pan and Travers this year.

Adam Beschizza

The 28-year-old British jockey, Adam Beschizza, will be aboard Enforceable for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. It will be his first start in the run for the roses.

He has been working with the Mark Casse trained horse for some time and hopes for an upset on September 5th.

James Graham

James Graham is the Kentucky native of the field. He will be aiming for a win aboard Major Fed, who he led to a second-place finish in the Indiana Derby.

Graham was ranked 52nd in wins and 29th in earnings last season. He will be comfortable racing in his home state.

Julien Leparoux

Julien Leparoux is getting the start after the usual jockey for Storm the Court, Flavien Prat, wasn’t able to make the trip to Kentucky.

Leparoux is a well-known name in horse racing, and he has six wins at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. He will be looking to be among Kentucky Derby winning jockeys after this year.

Joe Talamo

Trainer Dale Romans is happy with the way Joe Talamo has been riding Attachment Rate going into the Kentucky Derby. He finished second aboard the horse in the Ellis Park Derby.

Talamo only has one start in a Triple Crown race, being the 2010 Kentucky Derby. He finished 17th.

Luca Panici

Luca Panici will be a Kentucky Derby jockey aboard Sole Volante. Most recently, he rode the horse in the Belmont Stakes, finishing sixth.

A fall earlier this year at Gulfstream Park resulted in a pair of broken ribs. He will look to get a bit closer to Tiz the Law in the Kentucky Derby than he did in the Belmont to capture the roses.

Joe Rocco Jr.

Joe Rocco Jr. will be riding one of the longshots in the Kentucky Derby. The gelding, Winning Impression, just squeaked into the Kentucky Derby field.

Joe Rocco Jr. rode this horse to a seventh-place finish in the Ellis Park Derby.

Miguel Mena

The horse, Necker Island, was usually ridden by Mitchell Murril but was replaced heading into the Kentucky Derby. Now, Miguel Mena will be aboard the Chris Hartman trained horse.

Mena was 89th in wins and 35th in earnings in 2019. He is trying for his first Kentucky Derby victory.

Corey Lanerie

The colt, Shirl’s Speight, will be ridden by Corey Lanerie. Last year, Lanerie was supposed to be one of the Ky Derby jockeys before being replaced by Mike Smith.

He has been racing plenty in Kentucky and is a usual at Churchill Downs.

Infamous Kentucky Derby Jockeys

Jockeys can make a name of themselves at the Kentucky Derby, and some have done just that.

Victor Espinoza

One of the latest Kentucky Derby jockeys to gain his third win in the big race is Victor Espinoza. He got the mount for War Emblem in 2002, California Chrome in 2014, and American Pharoah in 2015.

Espinoza was the first jockey in 37 years to capture the Triple Crown, doing so with American Pharoah.

Calvin Borel

Calvin Borel may be one of the most beloved jockeys in Kentucky after his performances in the run for the roses. He was infamous for riding the rail, bringing horses up from the back.

His most memorable finish was aboard the longshot, Mine That Bird, in 2009. He brought the horse from the back, weaving in between horses to capture the win.

Borel also won in 2007 with Street Sense, and 2010 with Super Saver.


Other Kentucky Derby jockeys who have won the race at least three times include Eddie Arcaro, Bill Hartack, Bill Shoemaker, Isaac Murphy, Earl Sande, Angel Cordero Jr., Gary Stevens, and Kent Desormeaux.

Even after one win, Kentucky Derby winning jockeys are remembered for the race forever.