The Top 5 Horse Racing Jockeys Today

Most people associate horse racing with gambling, but there is much more to the game. Have you ever thought about the people behind the horses? They are called Jockeys, and this is a very big sport, that is worth millions of dollars.

Now, it is not always about the ability and the power of the horse, but the ability of the jockey is also a huge factor. A good rider should be intelligent and have the right skill and experience, plus plenty of physical strength in order to do a good job and be considered as one of the best.


A tough and experienced jockey can certainly lead your horse to victory using the shortest trip around the track and help him win the race easily. An excellent jockey, on the other hand, can access the field, hold off on his charge till the last moment, and then steal the victory.

The Top 5 Horse Racing Jockeys Today
Image Source: Raceruidoso

Some of the Biggest Names in Horse Racing Right Now

Irad Ortiz Jr.             

Ortiz Jr. is a 28-year-old Puerto Rican jockey. He has been the top leading rider in the New York Thoroughbred circuit since the year 2012. He won his first-ever Breeder’s cup race in 2014, and his first American race in 2016 during the Belmont Stakes.

He also won the Eclipse Award for the Most Outstanding Jockey in 2018 and was also in the list of leading jockeys because of his earnings and the number of wins he has. 


At the 2019 Breeders cup event, he has four winners and this includes in the $4 million turf and the $6 million classics as well. He is the leading winner in 2019, and had a staggering income of $34,109,019, in that year alone. 

Joel Rosario

He is an American Thoroughbred jockey who is originally from the Dominican Republic. In just 5 weeks in the year 2013, Rosario rode some pretty amazing winners in the Kentucky Derby and the Dubai World Cup competitions.

He has however been riding professionally since 2003, but he came into his own in 2007. Since that time, he has certainly been one of the most impressive Jockeys in the history of the game. 


He earned a Breeder’s cup victory in both 2009 and 2010. So far, he has won 22% of all his races and has amassed a wealth of more than $76 million from his more than 1,557 victories. 

Tyler Gaffalione

Tyler Gaffalione is an American Jockey who was voted as the US champion Apprentice Jockey in the Eclipse Awards of 2015. He has also become one of the rising stars in this race and has won more than 200 races each year.

He actually won the 2019 Preakness Stakes race riding the War of Will, and his first-ever win was in 2014 during the Gulfstream Park race. This track became his favorite. He has so far won 5 races on this particular race.

John R. Velazquez

Velazquez is the no. 1 Jockey right now, and he is a formidable rider who has always been factored into major races because he wins most of them. 

He won the 2011 Kentucky Derby aboard the Animal Kingdom and the Belmont Stakes twice. In his career, he has won 4,985 races, and his total earnings amount to more than $285 million. He is certainly the top racer in the world. 

Of all the races he has entered so far, he has won 24% of them. He is truly one of the greatest. 

Javier Castellano

Castellano knew from age 5 that he was meant to ride horses and when he got the first one, he never wanted to get off of it.

He has become one of the best horse racing jockeys in the world, and he won the 2006 Preakness Stakes race with the Bernardini. He was in the second position in the 2011 Belmont stakes and he has got 2 Breeder Stakes wins so far. His earnings surpass $169 million from racing alone. 

The Top 5 Horse Racing Jockeys Today
Image Source: Britannica


These are some of the biggest names in racing right now, and they have most certainly amassed some great wealth from this particular sport. 

Now you see that the game is not only about the horses but also the jockeys. We are waiting to see how much more they shall accomplish in their careers in the coming years.