Like many jockeys from Louisiana, Albarado was riding races at "bush" tracks - non-sanctioned tracks without legal wagering - years before obtaining his jockey's license at age 16. He picked up his first official career victory in 1990 at Evangeline Downs on One Little Point. Albarado rode mostly in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Chicago before moving to the Kentucky circuit in the spring of 1996. Now one of the most successful jockeys in the country, he rides in Kentucky and New York during the spring, summer and fall and in Louisiana in the winter. Albarado was the regular rider on 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft and later in the decade rode Curlin, the Horse of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Injuries, including two skull fractures in a 17-month period, have interrupted his career. Albarado lost the mount on 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom when he was injured in a freaky accident during a post parade a few days before the Derby. He has won riding titles at Churchill Downs, Arlington Park, Fair Grounds, Keeneland, and Oaklawn Park.
Albarado has Golden Soul as a mount in 2013, who was a runner up to Orb in the Kentucky Derby, and moved on to the Belmont Stakes from that start.