Calvin H. Borel (born November 8, 1966) is an American jockey in thoroughbred horse racing and rode the victorious mount in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, the 2009 Kentucky Derby and the 2010 Kentucky Derby. His 2009 Derby win with Mine That Bird was the second biggest upset in Derby history behind Donerail, and Borel's winning margin of 6 3⁄4 lengths was the greatest in Derby history since Assault won by 8 lengths in 1946. On May 1, 2009, Borel won the Kentucky Oaks aboard Rachel Alexandra, only the second time since 1993 that a jockey has won the Oaks-Derby combo and just the seventh jockey overall to accomplish this feat in the same year. On May 16, 2009, Borel won the 2009 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico with thoroughbred filly Rachel Alexandra. In doing so, Borel became the first jockey to win the first two jewels of the Triple Crown on different mounts. Borel's nickname is Bo"rail" because he stays so close to the rail at Churchill Downs to save ground.
Life and career
Calvin Borel hails from south Louisiana: the heart of Cajun Country, and famous for having produced a number of top jockeys since 1990. Like Randy Romero, Kent Desormeaux, and Shane Sellers, Borel began racing horses in the bush tracks near his hometown of Catahoula. Borel began riding in match races at the age of eight. Calvin is known for his Cajun accent and bubbly and emotional personality, both of which were on full display during his post-victory interview after all three Kentucky Derby wins.
Calvin Borel's older brother, Cecil, had a brief career as a thoroughbred jockey but was not able to maintain his weight. He turned to training horses at Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana. Calvin would later begin his professional riding career at Delta Downs.
Over a career that has spanned 25 years, Borel has become known for his tireless work ethic as well as an ability to slip up the rail to save ground; his colleagues and racing fans therefore frequently refer to him as "Calvin Bo-rail".
Borel is 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) and 116 pounds (53 kg). He lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife, Lisa Funk.
Borel's first significant career win came in the 2007 Kentucky Derby aboard Street Sense, guiding the colt to a 2 1⁄4 length victory over Hard Spun. He then had a close second place finish in the Preakness Stakes to Curlin.
His riding career began to surge forward in June 2006 when he won the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs with 91–1 longshot Seek Gold, getting up in the final stride to win by a nose over Perfect Drift, paying $185.40 to win. In fact, that year was his big break when he won his first Breeders' Cup on Street Sense in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
On July 5, 2007, Borel became the sixth jockey in the history of Churchill Downs to win six races on a single race card. With his victory in the July 5, 2008 Bashford Manor Stakes, Calvin Borel became the thirty-fourth jockey in North American Thoroughbred racing history to win 4,500 races.
May 2, 2009 saw Borel win the Kentucky Derby on Mine That Bird, a 50–1 long shot, a day after winning the Kentucky Oaks aboard favorite Rachel Alexandra. It was only the second time since 1993 that a jockey has won the Oaks-Derby combo and just the seventh jockey overall to accomplish this feat in the same year.
On May 16, 2009 Borel won the Preakness Stakes on Rachel Alexandra (after that horse was sold following the Derby). This accomplishment marked the first time that a jockey won the first two legs of the Triple Crown on different horses, and Borel, with a win in the Belmont, could have become the first Triple Crown rider since Steve Cauthen accomplished it in 1978 on Affirmed. A win would have made him only the second individual to win the Triple Crown by sweeping the races with different horses (D. Wayne Lukas, a trainer, in 1995). However, on June 6, 2009, Calvin Borel finished 3rd on Mine That Bird in the Belmont Stakes, failing to accomplish a Jockey Triple Crown.
On June 4, 2010, became only the second rider to win 1,000 career races at Churchill Downs, joining Hall of Famer Pat Day.
On June 27, 2009 he guided Rachel Alexandra to a 19 1⁄4 victory in the Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park, setting a new stakes record. Borel then rode her to a six length victory over Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird in the Haskell Invitational.
On September 5 of the same year Calvin rode Rachel Alexandra to a historic victory in the Woodward Stakes. It was the first time a filly of any age had won that storied race.
Borel was named the winner of the 2010 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.
On May 1, 2010 Calvin rode Super Saver to win his 3rd Kentucky Derby in a 4-year span, the first jockey ever to do so. After winning the race he promised that he would win the Triple Crown in 2010, but unfortunately, he lost the Preakness.
On June 4, 2010, Borel became only the second jockey to win 1,000 career races at Churchill Downs, joining Hall of Famer Pat Day.
- Delta Downs (1985, 1986, 1987)
- Louisiana Downs (1991, 1992, 1994)
- Oaklawn Park (1995, 2001)
- Ellis Park (1995)
- Churchill Downs (1998, 2007, 2009)(2010, Spring meet still running)
- Turfway Park (2000)
- Kentucky Downs (2005)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Story, Mark (2009-05-05). "Rail-hugging rides are Borel's signature - Kentucky Derby". Kentucky.com. http://www.kentucky.com/2009/05/05/784501/rail-hugging-rides-are-borels.html. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- ↑ "A day in the life of Calvin Borel - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2009-06-04. http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/triplecrown09/news/story?id=4231703. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- ↑ "Calvin Borel - NTRA". Web.archive.org. http://web.archive.org/web/20080504052757/http://www.ntra.com/stats_bios.aspx?id=21093. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- ↑ http://www.kentuckyderby.com/2009/news/2009/01/24/beethoven-breezes-holy-bull
- ↑ "Borel hits 4,500 with 18-1 shot - Horse Racing - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-07-05. http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/news/story?id=3474800. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- Calvin Borel is interviewed about his Career, Childhood, and 2009 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks wins