Jockey Calvin Borel was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 9, at a ceremony held at Saratoga Racetrack in Saratoga Springs, NY. The Louisville resident and Louisiana native was nominated to the Hall of Fame in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Borel has nearly 34,000 starts and purse earnings of over $122 million in a racing career that began 30 years ago and a love for riding that began as a child, riding at the bush tracks in Louisiana. Borel joined an elite club earlier this year when he surpassed the 5,000-win mark in March.
Borel is best known for his three Kentucky Derby wins—Street Sense (2007), Mine That Bird (2009), and Super Saver (2010). Only nine jockeys have won three or more Kentucky Derbys and Borel is the only one to accomplish the feat within a four-year span. In addition to his Kentucky Derby victories, Borel won the 2009 Kentucky Oaks and Preakness Stakes with filly Rachel Alexandra.
In 2010, Borel became the second jockey (behind Hall of Famer Pat Day) to hit the 1,000 win mark at Churchill Downs. Also that year, Borel was awarded the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, an award that honors riders whose careers and personal character garner respect for the sport of Thoroughbred racing.
Hall of Fame trainer Carl Nafzger, who gave Borel the mount on Street Sense, introduced Borel at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and assisted the jockey into his newly-minted Hall of Fame sport coat, as the audience rose to its feet to honor Borel. Borel’s wife, Lisa, accompanied him to the podium and thanked many of Borel’s connections that helped him throughout his career, including his agent, Jerry Hissam, who has been with Borel for 22 years; Carl Nafzger; trainer of Mine That Bird, Chip Wooley; owner of Super Saver, WinStar Farm; and Barbara Banke and the late Jess Jackson who bought Rachel Alexandra after her Kentucky Oaks win and allowed Borel to retain the mount as the filly went on to an illustrious career. Borel took to the podium and humbly accepted the honor, paying tribute to family and friends who supported him throughout his career.
Borel is currently riding the summer meet at Ellis Park in Henderson, KY.