With a "you can't make this up" type of life story, Martin Garcia has quickly climbed to prominence at racing's highest level. After being abandoned by his teenage mother, Garcia was raised by his grandmother on a ranch in Mexico with plenty of horses. He moved to California when he was 18 in 2003 and found work as a cook in a Pleasanton deli. Garcia learned that the deli owner, Terri Terry, had a small stable of show horses and pestered her for an opportunity to ride. Terry was impressed with his ability to handle her big jumper bareback and recommended him to a friend, who was a former jockey.
tout led Garcia to a job with trainer Vern Auten and the launch of a career as a jockey in 2005. His reputation was made when he tied Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze for a 2006 Bay Meadows title and then beat the Northern California kingpin by 15 wins at Golden Gate Fields. Garcia headed to the Southern California circuit and by 2009 had started riding for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Garcia has collected a number of Grade 1 wins, including the 2010 Preakness on Lookin at Lucky, aboard Baffert-trained horses.
Garcia is the regular rider of 2014 Kentucky Derby hopeful and Baffert trainee Chitu.