Calvin Borel is one of ten finalists on the ballot for this year's National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. Of the eighty horses, trainers, and jockeys submitted for consideration, the 16-member nominating committee narrowed it down to ten finalists. After the Hall of Fame's approximately 180 voters cast their ballots, the four nominees with the highest votes will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. The ten finalists include jockeys Calvin Borel, Garrett Gomez, John Velazquez, and Alex Solis; trainers Gary Jones, Robert Wheeler, and Jerry Hollendorfer; and female horses Sky Beauty, Safely Kept, and Open Mind.
Calvin Borel grew up in Louisiana and has been riding professionally for over twenty-five years. He has won over 4,800 races (1,000 at Churchill Downs), won over 15 riding titles at various tracks in Kentucky, Arkansas, and Louisiana, and has a long list of accomplishments. In 2006, he won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile aboard Street Sense. The following Spring, Borel guided him to a Kentucky Derby win in an amazing ride moving from last to first of the twenty-horse field. A few days after that victory, he joined the Queen of England (who attended the Derby that year) and President George W. Bush for a white-tie dinner at the White House. He also made the talk show circuit and appeared on the Today Show, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the David Letterman Show. In 2009, he won his second Kentucky Derby aboard the long shot, Mine That Bird, taking him from last to first in a carefully guided trip up the rail. The day before that victory, he won the Kentucky Oaks by 20 ¼ lengths aboard Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year. He became the seventh jockey to ever win both races in the same year. Aboard Rachel Alexandra, he also won the 2009 Preakness Stakes. He was the first jockey in history to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby and Preakness) on different mounts. Last year he won the Kentucky Derby aboard Super Saver, making it his third Derby win in four years. Last month, as the only American rider in the challenge, he captured the Meydan Masters International jockey competition at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.
The Hall of Fame winners will be announced May 13th, with an induction ceremony to take place August 12th in Saratoga Springs, NY. Best of luck to Louisville's own, Calvin Borel!
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Joe Schneid