Growing up fifteen minutes away from the Santa Anita racetrack, as a boy Gryder had no contact with horses other than his father and his grandparents' interest in attending the nearby races. But from as early as he could recall  all he wanted to be was around horses as a professional jockey. At the age of 13 he left home to learn to ride at the invitation of retired jockey Rudy Campas.
At 16, he made his first attempt to ride professionally at Santa Anita, but within days, exercising a horse, his saddle slipped, throwing him to his left side, His right foot was trapped in the iron (stirrup). For this, he was asked to leave the track by the racing stewards for being green and unready. Aaron was advised to go to Tijuana, Mexico and hone his skills at its Agua Caliente Racetrack. Short by a few wins of becoming the track's leading rider, he was persuaded to return to California and try again.
His first winner came on January 19, 1987 at Agua Caliente aboard Ragin Henry. Once he returned to the United States he led Hollywood Park’s fall meet as an apprentice jockey in 1987 which was his breakout year. It was there he rode to his first Grade I win on Asteroid Field in the Matriarch Stakes.
Gryder has ridden on both coasts as well as in the Midwest. He has won racing titles at Churchill Downs, Arlington Park, and Aqueduct Racetrack, and competed in two Breeders' Cups and three Kentucky Derbies. In 1995, he became the first jockey to win back-to-back titles at the Chicago track since Pat Day in 1986–1987. He has won four racing titles at Aqueduct (from 1998 to 2001), three accomplished at the inner-track meets. The 1998–1999 title was achieved with 53 wins even though he suffered a spill causing him to miss the last six weeks of the meet. In the 1999–2000 meet he repeated his success with 94 wins. This was 32 more than his nearest competitor.
In 2007, back on the west coast again, he won over a hundred races on almost 900 mounts, and earned over 5 and a half million dollars. In 2007, he was ranked in the top 40 jockeys by earnings. Over the years, Gryder has kept this rank, always in the top 40 or 45.
Gryder is involved with children's charities, among others, he is involved with the Oscar de la Hoya Foundation.
Gryder, like jockey Gary Stevens, has also tried his hand at acting. He has appeared in television's Dellaventura with Danny Aiello and The Sopranos, both times playing a jockey.
Gryder is one of the jockeys featured in Animal Planet's 2009 reality documentary, Jockeys.
- ↑ magazine [Video on BloodHorse website, August 3, 2008]
- ↑ Well Armed spectacular in Dubai World Cup, racingpost.com, 28 March 2009, accessed 28 March 2009.