Calvin Borel
Jockey Bios

Calvin Borel

Born: November 7, 1966 in St. Martin Parish, La.

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 148

Stakes Wins: 14

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 1991 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Free Spirit’s Joy

First Stakes Win: 1983 Gulf Coast at Delta Downs on Hye Dickran

First Graded Stakes Win: 1988 Miss Grillo (G2) at Aqueduct on Darby’s Daughter

First Career Win: 1994 on Mickey at a bush track near Abbeville, La.

Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass


Year

Horse

Finish

2009

Theregoesjojo

9th

2007

Street Sense

2nd

At Keeneland


14 career stakes wins include the 2017 Hagyard Fayette (G2) during the Fall Meet on The Player.

Won the 2010 Sycamore (G3) on the popular gelding Brass Hat.

First Keeneland win came during the 1995 Fall Meet.

First Keeneland stakes win was the 1998 Phoenix Breeders’ Cup on Partner’s Hero.

Career


Retired in late March 2016 but resumed riding in late August 2016 at Ellis Park. Career earnings exceed $128 million with 5,167 wins through May 24, 2017.

Triple Crown wins (4): Three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1): 2008 (Street Sense), 2009 (Mine That Bird) and 2010 (Super Saver). Won 2009 Preakness (G1) aboard Rachel Alexandra.

Breeders’ Cup win: 2006 Juvenile (G1) with Street Sense.

Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2013.

North American career earnings exceed $129 million with 5,201 wins through June 24, 2018.

2017 earnings were $1,489,502 with 33 wins, including the Hagyard Fayette (G2) at Keeneland aboard The Player.

2016 earnings were $976,856 with 20 wins, including the Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash (G3) with Ivan Fallunovalot.

2015 earnings were $1,700,326 with 32 wins, including three stakes with Ivan Fallunovalot. 

2014 earnings were $2,689,290 with 65 wins including the Stephen Foster (G1) on Moonshine Mullin.

Appears as himself in “50 to 1,” the movie about Mine That Bird’s longshot victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby (G1) released in 2014.

Won his 5,000th race on March 7, 2013, at Oaklawn Park.

Inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

In 2010, received George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, Warner L. Jones Jr. Horseman of the Year Award from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and the Bill Hartack Memorial Award at Fair Grounds.

Became only the second jockey to win 1,000 races at Churchill Downs, on June 4, 2010. First was Pat Day.

Background


Born to French-speaking Cajun parents, Calvin was first put up on a horse at age 6 and started riding in match races at the Louisiana bush tracks at 8. Youngest of five sons, Borel grew up on his family’s sugarcane farm and helped with the family’s racing Quarter Horses. His brother, Cecil, was also a race-rider before he became a trainer, and another brother, Carroll, was formerly a trainer.

“We had all kinds of horses and they needed somebody to ride,” he said. “I was the logical choice. My brother (Cecil) taught me everything I know. He put me up. He taught me how to sit. He taught me how to hold my hands.

“I always loved it. I wasn’t afraid or scared or anything. I just wanted to do it. I remember the first thing my brother told me was to ride the fence all the way, if I could. He kept telling me that was the shortest distance around the track. So I did. I got used to taking a horse right to the rail. I remember him telling me about pace, too. That pace makes the race. He told me that I should learn how to rate horses, not to use them up real quickly. He told me that I should learn to gallop with a clock ticking in my head and to save my horse until the end when the race could be won.”

Calvin's nickname is "Bo-rail” for his propensity to ride his horse on the rail en route to victory.