Kentucky Derby jockeys - Coady Photography

Kentucky Derby jockeys - Coady Photography

Meet the jockeys slated to ride in the 2020 Kentucky Derby:

(All stats as of Aug. 31; may not include international wins and earnings)

Adam Beschizza

Career rides: 2,174

Career wins: 297

Career earnings: $11,982,622

Graded stakes wins: 4

Grade 1 wins: 0

Kentucky Derby record: 0 starts, 0 wins, 0 seconds, 0 thirds (0-0-0-0)

Kentucky Derby mount: Enforceable

Up-and-coming jockey has won a quartet of Grade 3 stakes since 2018, but has never ridden in the Kentucky Derby. He’ll make his debut in the Run for the Roses aboard Lecomte (G3) winner Enforceable, a colt he’ll partner with for the first time.

Samy Camacho

Career rides: 4,431

Career wins: 688

Career earnings: $14,101,177

Graded stakes wins: 2

Grade 1 wins: 0

Kentucky Derby record: 0-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: King Guillermo

Based in Florida, Samy Camacho averaged more than 200 winners per year between 2018 and 2019. After guiding King Guillermo to an upset victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), Camacho will retain the mount at Churchill Downs and enjoy his first ride in the Kentucky Derby.

Javier Castellano

Career rides: 28,963

Career wins: 5,294

Career earnings: $349,041,681

Graded stakes wins: 453

Grade 1 wins: 126

Kentucky Derby record: 13-0-0-1

Kentucky Derby mount: Money Moves

A Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner, Hall of Fame inductee, and four-time Eclipse Award champion, Javier Castellano is one of the most decorated jockeys currently in action. Originally slated to ride Caracaro, who withdrew due to a minor injury, Castellano later secured the mount on Money Moves for his 14th ride in the Kentucky Derby.

Manny Franco

Career rides: 9,737

Career wins: 1,388

Career earnings: $88,352,720

Graded stakes wins: 38

Grade 1 wins: 12

Kentucky Derby record: 2-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Tiz the Law

Manny Franco has ridden twice in the Kentucky Derby, but he’s never partnered with a horse as talented as Tiz the Law. Runaway winner of the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers (G1), Tiz the Law is responsible for four of Franco’s 12 Grade 1 wins, and a fifth triumph will be widely expected if they receive a clean trip at Churchill Downs.

Tyler Gaffalione

Career rides: 7,926

Career wins: 1,337

Career earnings: $60,343,657

Graded stakes wins: 41

Grade 1 wins: 8

Kentucky Derby record: 2-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: South Bend

Although Tyler Gaffalione has only been riding since 2014, he's enjoyed a blazing start to his career, winning the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice in 2015 before nabbing a Preakness (G1) aboard War of Will in 2019. With four Grade 1 wins this season, 2020 is shaping up to be Gaffalione's best year yet, and that will certainly be the case if Gaffalione can secure a Derby victory aboard Ohio Derby (G3) runner-up South Bend.

Martin Garcia

Career rides: 10,717

Career wins: 1,627

Career earnings: $90,870,871

Graded stakes wins: 108

Grade 1 wins: 31

Kentucky Derby record: 4-0-0-1

Kentucky Derby mount: Finnick the Fierce

With 31 Grade 1 wins to his credit, Martin Garcia is no stranger to riding top-class horses. Winner of the 2011 Kentucky Oaks (G1) aboard Plum Pretty, Garcia will attempt to add a Kentucky Derby to his accomplished resume when he climbs aboard Finnick the Fierce, a one-eyed colt Garcia previously rode to a third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

Florent Geroux

Career rides: 9,746

Career wins: 1,609

Career earnings: $99,421,010

Graded stakes wins: 116

Grade 1 wins: 30

Kentucky Derby record: 4-0-0-1

Kentucky Derby mount: Thousand Words

Best known for guiding Gun Runner through a near-perfect 2017 Horse of the Year campaign, Florent Geroux has earned nearly $100 million in purse money while riding a bevy of Grade 1 winners and champions. He’s already won the Kentucky Oaks (G1) aboard Monomoy Girl, and he has a live shot to nab a Derby after picking up the mount aboard Shared Belief S. winner Thousand Words.

James Graham

Career rides: 19,378

Career wins: 2,624

Career earnings: $88,225,260

Graded stakes wins: 36

Grade 1 wins: 4

Kentucky Derby record: 1-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Major Fed

A veteran of the Midwest circuit, James Graham scored his first Kentucky Derby ride in 2018, finishing eighth aboard late-running longshot Lone Sailor. Graham will return to the fray in 2020 aboard Major Fed, a similar deep closer who rallied to finish second in the Indiana Derby (G3) under Graham’s guidance.

Julien Leparoux

Career rides: 15,335

Career wins: 2,749

Career earnings: $169,920,603

Graded stakes wins: 254

Grade 1 wins: 48

Kentucky Derby record: 11-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Storm the Court

Averaging nearly 200 winners per year since 2006, Julien Leparoux annually ranks among the top jockeys in North America. Though victory in the Kentucky Derby has eluded the two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey, Leparoux ridden 11 times in the Derby and will resume his Derby chase aboard Storm the Court, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and the champion 2-year-old male of 2019.

Paco Lopez

Career rides: 13,980

Career wins: 2,855

Career earnings: $101,931,401

Graded stakes wins: 87

Grade 1 wins: 8

Kentucky Derby record: 1-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Ny Traffic

So far, no jockey has managed to convince Ny Traffic to cross the wire first in a stakes race. But Paco Lopez came close in the Haskell (G1), urging the consistent and classy colt to finish second by a nose, and the Eclipse Award-winning jockey will retain the mount for the Kentucky Derby.

Miguel Mena

Career rides: 15,533

Career wins: 2,014

Career earnings: $68,892,917

Graded stakes wins: 35

Grade 1 wins: 2

Kentucky Derby record: 1-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Necker Island

In 2010, seven years into his riding career, Miguel Mena rode in his first Kentucky Derby. Ten years and ~1,100 winners later, Mena will get another chance at Derby glory aboard Indiana Derby (G3) third-place finisher Necker Island, a former claimer Mena will be guiding for the first time.

Luca Panici

Career rides: 7,306

Career wins: 692

Career earnings: $20,253,825

Graded stakes wins: 2

Grade 1 wins: 0

Kentucky Derby record: 0-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Sole Volante

Luca Panici might not be a household name, but he’s been a perfect fit for Sole Volante this season, employing ground-saving tactics and perfect timing to secure the bay gelding a runaway victory in the Sam F. Davis (G3). They’ll reunite at Churchill Downs, where Panici will gain his first experience in the Kentucky Derby.

Joe Rocco

Career rides: 12,549

Career wins: 1,488

Career earnings: $50,973,431

Graded stakes wins: 22

Grade 1 wins: 3

Kentucky Derby record: 1-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Winning Impression

Joe Rocco has sprung some major Grade 1 upsets through the years, including a big win in Kentucky when Don’t Tell Sophia surprised champion Close Hatches in the 2014 Spinster (G1). Rocco has already taken a spin in the Kentucky Derby, guiding Vinceremos to a 17th-place effort in 2014, and he’ll be back in action on Sept. 5 as the rider of longshot Winning Impression.

Gabriel Saez

Career rides: 9,491

Career wins: 1,297

Career earnings: $47,848,475

Graded stakes wins: 29

Grade 1 wins: 3

Kentucky Derby record: 3-0-1-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Mr. Big News

Saez enjoyed a big spring at Churchill Downs back in 2008, riding Proud Spell to victory in the Kentucky Oaks before finishing second in the Kentucky Derby aboard the fast filly Eight Belles. After going winless in graded stakes between 2012 and 2018, Saez has won seven graded events over the last two years to bring a wave of momentum into the 2020 Kentucky Derby, where he’ll reunite with Oaklawn S. winner Mr. Big News.

Ricardo Santana

Career rides: 8,815

Career wins: 1,429

Career earnings: $77,887,227

Graded stakes wins: 65

Grade 1 wins: 15

Kentucky Derby record: 5-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Max Player

In recent years, up-and-coming jockey Ricardo Santana has forged a high-profile partnership with Steve Assmusen, riding a bevy of Grade 1 winners for the Hall of Fame trainer. This arrangement will reap dividends for Santana in the Derby; with Asmussen taking over training duties for Belmont Stakes (G1) third-place finisher Max Player, Santana has been assigned the mount.

Mike Smith

Career rides: 33,685

Career wins: 5,589

Career earnings: $331,728,525

Graded stakes wins: 614

Grade 1 wins: 219

Kentucky Derby record: 25-2-4-1

Kentucky Derby mount: Honor A. P.

When Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith climbs aboard Honor A. P. in the Kentucky Derby, he’ll equal the record for the most rides in the Run for the Roses, tying the standard of 26 set by Bill Shoemaker between 1952 and 1988. After springing a 50-1 upset in the 2005 Kentucky Derby aboard Giacomo (a colt conditioned by Honor A. P.’s trainer, John Shirreffs), Smith swept the 2018 Triple Crown aboard Justify and will seek a Derby hat trick in 2020.

Joe Talamo

Career rides: 14,312

Career wins: 2,094

Career earnings: $110,874,682

Graded stakes wins: 120

Grade 1 wins: 23

Kentucky Derby record: 2-0-0-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Attachment Rate

Back in 2009, Joe Talamo was slated to ride favored I Want Revenge in the Kentucky Derby, but missed out when the colt suffered an injury days before the race. A couple of Derby rides since then failed to produce on-the-board efforts, but perhaps the third time will be the charm for Talamo. A runner-up finish aboard Attachment Rate in the Ellis Park Derby has propelled the Eclipse Award-winning jockey back to Churchill Downs.

John Velazquez

Career rides: 34,149

Career wins: 6,228

Career earnings: $420,686,763

Graded stakes wins: 678

Grade 1 wins: 200

Kentucky Derby record: 21-2-2-0

Kentucky Derby mount: Authentic

With 200 Grade 1 wins to his credit, Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez is one of the most decorated jockeys in history. A two-time winner of the Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom (2011) and Always Dreaming (2017), Velazquez picked up the mount on Animal Kingdom at the last minute and promptly rode the colt to victory. A similar situation is unfolding in 2020; with some riders skipping the Derby due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Velazquez has picked up an unexpected assignment on Haskell (G1) winner Authentic.