Many horse racing champions foaled in America have set numerous records over the decades. But which American-born jockeys can claim to have the most wins of all time? Here is a look at six famous names from the top 10 jockeys based on wins in North America.
With 7,141 wins in 34,240 starts, Chris McCarron is in seventh place for North America-based jockeys with the most victories ever. In 1974, when McCarron was only 19 years old, the Boston-born lad brought his mounts to the winner’s circle, a record-breaking 547 times. Throughout his career, McCarron won nine Breeders’ Cup races, including five Classics, and he was victorious in six U.S. Triple Crown races. After retiring in 2002, the Hall of Famer worked as a technical advisor and had a role in the extremely popular 2003 horse racing movie Seabiscuit.
Arkansas-born Perry Ouzts’ career began in 1973 when he gained his first victory at the Beulah Park racetrack in Ohio. Ouzts went on to win 11 titles at the course. He also won a record-breaking 18 meet titles at River Downs (now Belterra Park) in Cincinnati. Even though Ouzts is now in his sixties, he is still racing. Even people who enjoy betting on horse racing and other sports could not have predicted Ouzts would have had such a long and illustrious career. And seeing as Ouzts has said he will only quit when the thrill goes out of racing, it looks like he could be racing well into his seventies. On Oct. 10, 2020, Outzs moved into sixth place all-time in wins among jockeys based in North America. He has 7,143 wins as of Nov. 8.
The four-time recipient of the Eclipse Award and twelve-time Breeders’ Cup winner Pat Day surprisingly began his sporting career as a wrestler. Thankfully, the world of racing benefitted from his skills instead. In addition to the previous accomplishments mentioned, Pat Day won the Kentucky Derby once, the Belmont Stakes three times, and the Preakness five times. Throughout his career, the Colorado-born jockey won 8,803 races in 40,299 starts, good for fourth all-time on this list. In 1991, he was welcomed into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
The great Bill Shoemaker was unquestionably one of the most renowned jockeys on the planet. For 29 years, Shoemaker held the world record for total professional jockey victories. He ended his career with 8,833 wins in 40,350 starts, third all-time among North American riders. The Shoe’s many accomplishments include winning 11 Triple Crown races and being the highest-earning jockey ten times. In 1958, Bill Shoemaker was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Shoemaker trained horses after retiring from riding; he died on Oct. 12, 2003 at age 72.
Laffit A. Pincay Jr.
The second-most winningest jockey of all time based in North America is the magnificent Laffit A. Pincay Jr., with an amazing 9,530 wins to his name. Pincay Jr. began his riding career in his home of Panama. In 1966, he received sponsorship to ride under contract in the United States. He immediately rose to national prominence, winning major titles and stakes on both coasts and five Eclipse Awards as outstanding jockey. By the time Pincay Jr. retired in 2003, he was in first place as the jockey with the most wins in North America. Russell Baze beat his record in November 2006.
Retired jockey Russell Baze holds the record for the most horse racing victories in North America by a mile with a staggering 12,842 wins in 53,578 starts. His second and third place-finishes are pretty impressive too. Over his career, Baze achieved 9,600 seconds and 7,855 thirds. The Canadian/American has plenty of other accomplishments to his name. In 1989, he rode Hawkster when the 3-year-old colt set the track record at Santa Anita Park, for 1 ½ miles on turf. He also won more than 400 races in a year for four consecutive years, which led to him being awarded a special Eclipse Award in 1995. After that, he went on to win 400 or more races in a year seven more times, which no other jockey has been able to beat. Indeed, no other jockey has managed to accomplish the feat more than three times. Baze is, rightly so, a member of the United States Racing Hall of Fame.