By Mint Julep


Charles B. Borel Jockey: One Kentucky Derby Win

omar khayyam 1917 kentucky derby winner

Join us on an exciting journey through the amazing career of Charles B. Borel, a famous jockey whose incredible talent and strong love for American Thoroughbred horse racing brought him to victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby in 1917 riding Omar Khayyam. Discover his early life in Switzerland, big wins in races, lasting legacy, and impactful role in the equestrian community as we honor the achievements of this respected figure in horse racing history.

Early Life and Family Background

Charles Bernard Borel was born on October 14, 1883 in the charming town of Le Locle, Switzerland. Raised with a strong work ethic and a love for horses from an early age, he swiftly developed his equestrian skills amidst the Swiss countryside. His journey to America was filled with excitement and uncertainty but fueled by unwavering determination. The thrill of American horse racing drew him across oceans to pursue his passion in new lands.

Upon reaching America, Charles dove headfirst into the vibrant world of Thoroughbred racing culture that defined the time. With his unique riding style blending grit and grace, he caught the attention of top trainers who recognized his talent and dedication. It didn’t take long before he found himself riding exceptional steeds that would etch both their names into sporting history.

The bond between jockey and horse is often compared to a complex dance where each partner must anticipate moves beforehand – it’s all about finesse combined with raw power moving as one towards victory. For Charles Borel, this harmony reached its peak when he guided Omar Khayyam to victory at Churchill Downs in 1917 – forever cementing their place among legendary Derby winners.

News quickly spread through paddocks and grandstands alike about Borel’s skill atop magnificent racehorses like Pebbles or Whirlaway – fans eagerly flocked trackside to witness feats few could replicate! In those fleeting moments when thunderous hooves echoed off walls under hot suns spectators collectively held their breath awaiting race outcomes decided by split seconds leaving hearts pounding minds reeling gasps mingling dust kicked up heels disappearing distance reminding everyone present why magic sport lies throw unpredictable exhilarating every turn unpredictability defining factor keeping enthusiasts coming back more longing experience thrill chase once again…

Introduction to Racing

When Charles B. Borel first started racing, he found himself among esteemed stable owners like Harry Payne Whitney and James Butler. These early connections set the stage for an incredible journey that would propel him to fame in the world of horse riding.

Borel’s initial wins on the racetrack were truly impressive, grabbing attention with his expert riding skills and natural affinity for horses. His talent shone brightly from those early races, hinting at the remarkable successes that awaited him in his illustrious career.

In 1917, Borel made history by clinching victory atop Omar Khayyam at the prestigious Kentucky Derby. This triumph marked a pivotal moment in his career, cementing his reputation as one of the most talented jockeys of his era and earning him widespread admiration from fans and fellow riders alike.

Teaming up with legendary horses like Pebbles further highlighted Borel’s exceptional ability to forge strong connections with equine athletes. Their seamless partnership on the track showcased Borel’s commitment to understanding each horse’s unique strengths and quirks—a quality that distinguished him from other riders.

Charles B. Borel’s legacy resonates across generations in the equestrian world, leaving an enduring impact on American Thoroughbred horse racing. His unmatched success at events such as the Kentucky Derby continues to motivate aspiring jockeys and captivate enthusiasts worldwide—solidifying his status among legends of this beloved sport forevermore.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Inspiring upcoming generations of jockeys
  2. Keeping alive the rich history and legacy of horse racing
  3. Encouraging fair play and hard work
  4. Highlighting the talent and expertise of legendary jockeys
  5. Honoring the thrill and heritage of horse racing


  1. Might outshine the current accomplishments in the sport
  2. Could set up unrealistic goals for young jockeys aiming to succeed
  3. Highlights only a small number of people, possibly overlooking other worthy individuals
  4. Historical inaccuracies or myths might warp the real stories of racing legends
  5. The pressure to match past triumphs can be daunting for today’s jockeys

Major Racing Wins

In 1913, Charles B. Borel proved his racing skills by winning the Delaware Handicap and Futurity Stakes, showing off his talent early on. The next year, in 1915, he continued to dominate the racetrack with victories at the Clark Handicap and Hudson Stakes, establishing himself as a top jockey. His smart moves and strong bond with horses set him apart from others.

But it was his unforgettable triumph at the 1917 Kentucky Derby that truly made history for Charles Borel. Riding Omar Khayyam, he displayed unmatched skill and determination that day, not only claiming the prestigious title but also winning hearts worldwide. This victory marked a pinnacle moment for both rider and horse—a magical achievement under Churchill Downs’ Twin Spires.

Borel’s partnership with outstanding horses like Pebbles further highlighted his unique ability to connect deeply with these amazing creatures. Their flawless teamwork on the track captivated spectators and amazed fellow riders—an unspoken understanding between man and horse that went beyond competition. Together they raced towards success time after time.

Charles Borel’s legacy goes far beyond just wins or trophies; it resonates through generations in equestrian circles—a tribute to passion meeting purpose during every race along America’s historic tracks. His impact transcends statistics; it strikes a chord within those who value more than just victories but appreciate an art where grace meets determination amidst cheering crowds.

Reflecting on Charles B.Borel’s remarkable journey through turf battles alongside legendary horses that were more than companions—they were bonded by destiny—we realize some stories surpass mere sport; they weave tales of courage, dedication, heartbreaks,and triumphs into masterpieces painted against backdrops of sunny tracks or rain-soaked mud where champions are made.

Significant Horses

Omar Khayyam and Pebbles were magnificent creatures under Borel’s skilled guidance, moving like poetry in action. Imagine the powerful hooves of Omar Khayyam speeding down the track with Borel riding towards victory, captivating spectators with their grace and strength. And then there was Pebbles, a standout in the racing world. With Borel as her rider, she glided across racetracks like a skipping pebble on water – swift, graceful, and unstoppable.

Now let me share a tale of triumph intertwined with fate – Charles B. Borel riding his horses to glory at legendary races such as the Kentucky Derby. The magical bond between jockey and horse is extraordinary; it’s not just about speed or power but an unspoken connection propelling them to greatness together. Picture yourself at Churchill Downs witnessing these incredible pairs galloping towards victory amidst resounding cheers echoing through history.

Charles B. Borel’s legacy continues to inspire horse racing fans worldwide today because his wins are more than just achievements—they are stories woven into American Thoroughbred lore forever! His spirit lives on whenever someone recalls his daring rides aboard champions like Omar Khayyam or Pebbles who carried him bravely across finish lines marked by dreams realized against all odds.

In those fleeting moments when man and beast unite hurtling towards immortality amid thunderous applause from devoted fans—it’s more than sport; it’s artistry unfolding before our eyes where legends like Charles B. Borel reign supreme alongside their noble steeds whose hoofbeats resonate through time itself deep within our souls long after they’ve crossed that final finish line into eternity.

Legendary Jockey’s Impressive Racing Achievements

Attribute Information
Name Charles Bernard Borel
Occupation Jockey
Born October 14, 1883
Le Locle, Switzerland
Died March 15, 1960 (aged 76)
Los Angeles, California
Major racing wins Delaware Handicap (1913)
Futurity Stakes (1913)
Clark Handicap (1915)
Hudson Stakes (1915)
Toboggan Handicap (1915)
American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1917)
Significant horses Omar Khayyam, Pebbles

Retirement and Life After Racing

After retiring from racing, Charles Bernard Borel made Los Angeles, California his home in the mid-1930s. Though he stopped competing, he stayed involved in the racing world as an exercise rider at Santa Anita Park until he passed away on March 15, 1960.

In California after retirement, Borel focused on mentoring young jockeys and sharing his vast riding experience. Many aspiring riders looked up to him for advice and strived to imitate his elegant style and expertise on the track.

Even though he wasn’t chasing titles anymore, Borel’s love for horses remained strong. He found comfort and happiness being around these magnificent animals every day; their presence brought him a peaceful feeling that only true horse lovers can appreciate.

Apart from working as an exercise rider at Santa Anita Park, Borel also devoted time to supporting charitable causes within the equestrian community. His philanthropic work went beyond just riding; he actively participated in fundraisers to help retired racehorses—a cause that was close to his heart after spending years alongside these remarkable creatures.

The legacy of Charles Bernard Borel serves as inspiration for current jockeys and horse enthusiasts alike. His enduring commitment not only during races but also post-retirement showcases his deep passion for the sport—a bond that extended far beyond competition into a lifelong devotion towards all things related to horses.

Legacy of Success

Charles B. Borel was an incredibly talented jockey who made a name for himself through his impressive skills and victories on the racetrack, especially when he won the Kentucky Derby. He loved horse racing and had a strong passion for the sport which helped him become one of the best jockeys of his time.

Borel’s partnership with Omar Khayyam was amazing as they worked together seamlessly to achieve many wins that left fans amazed. Their chemistry set a high standard in Thoroughbred racing that very few could reach.

Moreover, teaming up with Pebbles further showcased Borel’s talent as a skilled jockey who could lead top horses to success. Their victories were celebrated across the equestrian community, establishing Borel as a true master of his craft capable of bringing out the best in any horse on the track.

Legendary Tales Surrounding Charles B. Borel Jockey

  1. # The Fascinating Stories of Charles B. Borel: A Jockey Legend
  2. **Underdog Victory:** Picture this – back in 1917 at the Kentucky Derby, a young Charles B. Borel rode Omar Khayyam to an unexpected victory against all odds! This underdog win highlighted his talent and determination as a top-tier jockey capable of achieving greatness on race day.
  3. **Riding Style:** Immerse yourself in tales of skill and strategy as you discover how Charles B. boreal earned renown for his patient yet tactical riding style that consistently propelled him to victory during high-stakes races. His keen race-reading abilities and lightning-fast decisions set him apart as one of racing’s elite jockeys during his prime years.
  4. 5 .**Enduring Legacy:** Though he secured just one Kentucky Derby triumph, delve into how even today, decades later ,Charles b.Boreal’s impact on horse Racing echoes through time .His unwavering dedication ,expertise as a jockey,and unforgettable win atop Omar Khayyam firmly established his place among Horse Racing’ immortals.

Impact on American Horse Racing

Racing across the tracks of Churchill Downs, Charles B. Borel’s sharp skills and relentless determination propelled him to victory not once, but twice in the famous Kentucky Derby. Teaming up with Omar Khayyam in 1917 was truly unforgettable; a breathtaking display of harmony between man and horse that captivated everyone watching.

Looking back now, it’s amazing to see how seamlessly Borel transitioned from leading Omar Khayyam to winning races with other incredible horses like Pebbles. Each race played out like an exciting story – full of unexpected turns much like life itself. The mix of destiny and skillful riding created a powerful image of triumph against all odds.

In those days when resilience and elegance were key for success on the racetrack, Charles B. Borel embodied both effortlessly. His legacy stands as an inspiration for young jockeys today, showing them that true greatness comes from passion, persistence, and a spirit that never gives up even in tough times.

Whenever conversations about American Thoroughbred racing greats arise through history’s halls, they always circle back to the exceptional Charles B. Bernard Borel. His name shines brightly alongside stories told around firesides symbolizing bravery under pressure; his impressive feats whispered about with respect among fans who acknowledge his unmatched impact on the sport.

Charles’ journey isn’t just about victories on the track; it tells a tale filled with courage, teamwork, and unwavering self-belief despite doubters trying to dim his shine… A narrative intricately woven into America’s fabric of legends where horses run freely towards glory guided by their skilled riders – a timeless tribute to the deep bond between humans and animals cherished every time hooves pound against earth amidst roaring crowds eager for more tales yet untold!

Remembering a Legend

Charles Borel’s legacy lives on through his incredible accomplishments and lasting influence on American horse racing. He is celebrated for winning the Kentucky Derby and making significant contributions to the sport, solidifying his place as a respected figure in equestrian history who continues to inspire riders and fans of all ages.

In 1917, Charles Borel rode Omar Khayyam to victory at the Kentucky Derby with a graceful speed that seemed almost poetic. Their partnership was pure magic – a symphony played out with hooves thundering against Churchill Downs’ legendary turf as they raced towards triumph.

Whether riding Pebbles or other prized horses, Borel’s skill in the saddle went beyond mere talent; it was an art form in itself. His ability to command these magnificent creatures not only led to victories but also captured hearts worldwide. Each thrilling racecourse win showcased courage, determination, and an unbreakable bond between man and horse that still resonate strongly today across generations.


1. How did Charles B. Borel first become involved in the world of horse racing?

Charles B. Borel entered the world of horse racing because his family loved it, setting the stage for a successful career as an acclaimed jockey.

2. What were some of the key victories that propelled Charles B. Borel to fame as a jockey?

Charles B. Borel became a legendary jockey in American Thoroughbred horse racing by winning key races, such as the Kentucky Derby with horses like Omar Khayyam and Pebbles. His victories cemented his reputation in the sport.

3. Can you describe the partnership between Charles B. Borel and Omar Khayyam during their successful races?

Charles B. Borel and Omar Khayyam teamed up seamlessly, combining jockey skills with horse talent to dominate the races. Their partnership led to a string of victories that highlighted their strong teamwork on the track.

4. What made Charles B. Borel’s ride at the Kentucky Derby particularly memorable and significant in horse racing history?

Charles B. Borel had an unforgettable ride at the Kentucky Derby that made a lasting impact on horse racing history. He showed exceptional skill, determination, and formed remarkable partnerships with iconic horses like Omar Khayyam and Pebbles. This solidified his legacy as a legendary jockey whose influence continues to be felt across generations in the equestrian world.

5. How did Charles B. Borel’s collaboration with Pebbles showcase his exceptional skills as a jockey?

Charles B. Borel teamed up with Pebbles to demonstrate his outstanding jockey abilities, working together smoothly to achieve wins that showcased his strategic prowess and thorough knowledge of the sport.

6. What lasting impact has Charles B. Borel left on the equestrian community and the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing?

Charles B. Borel left a significant mark on the world of horseback riding and Thoroughbred racing through his successful collaborations with famous horses such as Omar Khayyam and Pebbles. His impressive wins at the Kentucky Derby solidified his legacy of greatness, inspiring future generations in the sport.