HomeBreeders Cup Experiences BlogWho is the Winningest Jockey in Breeders' Cup Classic History?

Who is the Winningest Jockey in Breeders' Cup Classic History?

By Evan Chronis October 07, 2019

The Breeders' Cup Classic may not hold the century-long history of its Triple Crown™ counterparts, but the race coined as the "World Championship of Thoroughbred Racing" has been the proving grounds of the best jockeys in the world since 1984. 

The Classic — a Grade 1, 1 1/4 mile race featuring three-year-olds and older — is the home to the best jockeys in the world and victory puts a jockey into a very exclusive club of winners. 

But which jockey has conquered the Classic the most amount of times? 

Here we count down the winningest jockeys in the history of the Breeders' Cup Classic, with each jockey included having won the race on more than one occasion. 

Breeders' Cup Winningest Jockeys

JOCKEY

CLASSIC WINS

YEARS WON

HORSES

Fastest Time

Total Breeders' Cup Wins

Chris McCarron

5

1988, 1989, 1996, 2000, 2001

Alysheba ('88), Sunday Silence ('89), Alphabet Soup ('96), Tiznow ('00, '01)

2:00.20

8

Jerry Bailey

5

1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2005

Black Tie Affair ('91), Arcangues ('93), Concern ('94), Cigar ('95), Saint Liam ('05)

2:00.83

15

Mike E. Smith

4

1997, 2009, 2011, 2016

Skip Away ('97), Zenyatta ('09), Drosselmeyer ('11), Arrogate ('16)

1:59.16

26

Pat Day

4

1984, 1990, 1998, 1999

Wild Again ('84), Unbridled ('90), Awesome Again ('98), Cat Thief ('99)

1:59.52

12

 

Did You Know?

  • Chris McCarron is the first, and only, jockey to ride a horse to victory twice in the Breeders' Cup Classic. In 2000, he rode Tiznow to victory at Churchill Downs and replicated the feat the next year at Belmont Park. 
  • Jerry Bailey won both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in 1991 before winning his first Breeders' Cup Classic later that year.
  • Mike Smith is the most successful jockey in Breeders' Cup history, winning a total of 26 races at the event. 
  • In 1990, Pat Day won the Preakness Stakes as well as the Breeders' Cup Classic, taking home one half of the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred Horseracing. 

Which Jockey Makes History in 2019?

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2019 Breeders' Cup Official Ticket Packages

About the Bloggers

Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 

Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.

Evan Chronis

Evan Chronis was born in Omaha, Nebraska but has made his home in south Charlotte for almost two decades. A Tar Heel born and bred, Evan received his B.A in Media and Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is an avid Boston sports fan thanks to his family’s New England roots, and a fanboy of Wes Anderson films.