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Rafael Bejarano
Jockey Bios

Rafael Bejarano

Born: June 23, 1982, in Arequipa, Peru

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 207
Stakes Wins: 19

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 2004 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on Colonial Colony
First Stakes Win: 2002 Hillsdale at Hoosier Park on Go Doctor Mo
First Graded Stakes Win: 2003 Kentucky Cup Juvenile (G3) on Mr. Jester
First Career Win: (Peru) Dec. 8, 2001, in career debut; (U.S.) July 10, 2002, at River Downs on John Bobby

Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

2022 Trademark 5th
2021 Hidden Stash 4th
2020 Hard Lighting 9th
2010 Interactif 4th
2007 Dominican Won
2006 First Samurai 5th
2005 Consolidator 5th

At Keeneland

Four-time leading rider: 2004 Fall, 2005 Fall, 2006 Spring (tie with apprentice Julien Leparoux), 2007 Fall

Rode first Keeneland winner during the 2003 Spring Meet.

First Keeneland stakes win was aboard Runway Model in the 2004 Darley Alcibiades (G2).

Grade 1 wins: 2004 Breeders’ Futurity on Consolidator, 2005 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on Sweet Talker, 2005 Shadwell Turf Mile on Host (CHI), 2007 Toyota Blue Grass on Dominican, 2007 Darley Alcibiades on Country Star, 2008 Breeders’ Futurity on Square Eddie and 2010 Darley Alcibiades on Wickedly Perfect

Rode future Horse of the Year Wise Dan to win the 2010 Phoenix (G3) for the first of his record seven Keeneland stakes wins.

With his first of four wins during the 2020 Fall Meet, he earned his first win at Keeneland in 10 years.

Rode California Angel to win the 2021 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2).


Breeders’ Cup wins (5): 2005 Filly and Mare Turf on Intercontinental (GB), 2007 Distaff on Ginger Punch, 2011 Juvenile Sprint on Secret Circle, 2013-2014 Dirt Mile on Goldencents 

Recorded his 4,000th win on June 15, 2019, at Santa Anita on Portal Creek.

Has 4,451 wins with mount earnings of $232 million through Mar. 31, 2024.

Click here for his Equibase career record.


Rafael Bejarano attended the races with his father one day in his native Peru by mistake as he thought they were going to a soccer match. He was so taken by the sport he entered that country’s jockey school. He began riding in Lima, Peru, on Dec. 8, 2001, winning with his first mount. He went on to win the apprentice title at Hipodromo de Monterrico.

Rafael came to the U.S. in May 2002 and two months later recorded his first winner aboard his first mount at River Downs (now Belterra Park).

He had success at Keeneland in the 2000s before relocating to Southern California in November 2017 to ride for the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. Since then, he returned to Keeneland a handful of times, most recently to compete in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. He moved back to Kentucky in early 2020.