Like Hall of Famers Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Braulio Baeza, Ricardo Santana is a native of Panama. Santana came to the United States to ride in 2009 at the age of 16, making Delaware Park his home track. His work ethic and ability contributed to his success as leading rider there in 2012 and in 2013 at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.
At the age of 21, Santana has already amassed over 400 wins and $13 million in earnings. In 2013 Santana won his first career graded stakes, the Count Fleet, aboard Justin Phillip for one of his main clients, Steve Asmussen. Santana is slated to ride Tapiture for Asmussen in the 2014 Kentucky Derby.