By Mint Julep

Chris Mccarron Jockey: Two Kentucky Derby Wins

1987 kentucky derby winner alysheba

Join us on a thrilling journey through the incredible career of the renowned jockey Chris McCarron. His exceptional skills and unwavering commitment led him to victory in two prestigious Kentucky Derby races. Delve into his impressive accomplishments, which include winning six U.S. Triple Crown Races, numerous major stakes victories, and international triumphs that established him as one of the greatest jockeys in history. Explore how McCarron’s enduring legacy in horse racing is defined by excellence both on and off the track, inspiring aspiring jockeys around the world for generations to come.

Early Life and Family Background

Born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 27, 1955, Chris McCarron was introduced to the world of horse racing by his older brother Gregg. At just 18 years old, Chris began a professional riding career that quickly propelled him to fame within the equestrian realm. His exceptional talent as a jockey became evident when he broke records in 1974 by winning an incredible 547 races in one year.

As Chris raced around busy tracks and thundered towards victory, his name started to mean more than just numbers and stats. With each win and every obstacle overcome, McCarron displayed not only his amazing skill but also his unwavering dedication to the sport he loved since childhood. The track was where he shined; with each stride of those powerful horses beneath him, he created masterpieces that would go down in history.

Rumors of McCarron’s remarkable achievements spread like wildfire across racing communities nationwide, making it clear that this talented rider was bound for greatness. From growing up in Boston to dominating prestigious racetracks worldwide with finesse – akin to poetry in motion – Chris McCarron’s journey exemplifies what it means to be a true legend in horse racing lore.

Introduction to Racing

Chris McCarron quickly became famous in the horse racing world, capturing fans’ hearts at just 19 years old when he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in 1974. His talent and hard work were clear as he made his way through horse racing. In 1977, McCarron showed off his amazing skills on California’s racetracks, winning many races that solidified his reputation as a top jockey.

McCarron didn’t stop at domestic success but also took on challenges internationally, showing off his skills on a global stage. He didn’t just win races in America but also triumphed in prestigious international competitions. His ability to adapt to different race settings set him apart from other jockeys and proved him to be one of the sport’s true legends.

While most riders dream of winning even one Kentucky Oaks title throughout their careers, Chris McCarron managed to secure three victories—an incredible achievement that highlights his exceptional skill and determination. The Kentucky Oaks is very important in horse racing circles, making McCarron’s triple wins even more outstanding. His unique bond with horses allowed him to consistently deliver great performances when it counted.

Chris McCarron wasn’t only known for winning races; he was celebrated for changing riding techniques and strategies that influenced future generations of jockeys. By revolutionizing race-riding methods, he raised standards both on and off the track—it wasn’t just about winning records but also about understanding equine behavior deeply—a rare quality valued within the racing community.

Apart from being a two-time Kentucky Derby champion jockey, Chris McCarron left a lasting impact beyond simply riding by creating educational programs like The North American Racing Academy (NARA) which prepared young people for careers within the industry—ensuring that his legacy would live on long after retirement called out to him. Whether taking strides down legendary tracks worldwide or inspiring young riders with stories of daring feats atop magnificent steeds shared around barns late into nightfall—McCarrons influence remains forever woven into equestrian history.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Inspiring the next wave of jockeys for the future

  2. Demonstrating extraordinary horsemanship skills

  3. Building up enthusiasm and interest in horse racing

  4. Making unforgettable moments in sports history

  5. Celebrating the legacy of iconic jockeys


  1. Jockeys and horses face a risk of getting injured

  2. Intense competition can stir up controversies

  3. Athletes feel pressured to keep up high performance levels

  4. Few chances for other jockeys to stand out

  5. Balancing fame with personal life poses challenges

Triple Crown Triumphs

Chris McCarron was a superstar in the U.S. Triple Crown Races, winning a total of six times. He showed off his amazing skills on racing’s biggest stage by riding Alysheba to victory in the Kentucky Derby in 1987 and Go for Gin in 1994. McCarron also won the Preakness Stakes twice, first with Alysheba in 1987 and then again with Pine Bluff in 1992.

He continued his success at the Belmont Stakes, winning it twice: first with Danzig Connection in 1986 and later riding Touch Gold to victory in 1997. These wins not only made McCarron one of the best jockeys but also solidified his place as a legend in horse racing history. His ability to handle different tracks, distances, and levels of competition set him apart from others.

McCarron’s incredible achievements showcased his talent across various races, earning him admiration from fans and fellow competitors alike. Each time he won a Triple Crown race, he left an unforgettable mark on horse racing history books that continues to inspire young jockeys worldwide today.

Major Stakes Wins

Chris McCarron was a superstar on the racetrack, winning big races like the Breeders’ Cup Classic an amazing five times. He didn’t stick to just one event; his talent allowed him to win all kinds of competitions, from the Arlington Million to the Haskell Invitational Handicap.

McCarron became known for his excellence in horse racing because he kept on winning at famous events like the Santa Anita Handicap. Each win made his mark even deeper in horse racing history, inspiring many young jockeys who looked up to him.

To succeed in these important races, you need not only skill but also a good understanding of how races work—something that McCarron had plenty of throughout his successful career. His smart approach set him apart from others and helped him win lots of exciting races on major stages.

Watching Chris McCarron expertly guide horses around tough tracks during big stakes races was thrilling for fans all over the world. Every victory added another exciting moment to his journey filled with brilliance and determination that inspired both young and older fans alike.

In every step toward success, Chris McCarron showed what it takes to be a true champion: strength, style, and a strong commitment to your passion. His Major Stakes Wins are lasting reminders not only of individual achievements but also show off the competitive spirit that makes horse racing such an incredible sport for those who love its beauty.

Record-Breaking Jockey and Racing Legend Highlights

Attribute Information
Name Christopher John McCarron
Occupation Jockey
Born March 27, 1955 (age 69)
Career wins 7,141
Major racing wins Kentucky Oaks (1977, 1990, 2002)
Rancho Bernardo Handicap (1978, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1997)
Del Mar Oaks (1979, 1984, 1989, 1991)
Del Mar Futurity (1979, 1988, 1992, 1997)
Del Mar Handicap (1979, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1998, 2000)
Del Mar Debutante Stakes (1980, 1981, 1984)
La Jolla Handicap (1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1993)
San Bernardino Handicap (1980, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1997, 2002)
Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (1981, 1988, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000)
Hawthorne Handicap (1981, 1987, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)
San Felipe Stakes (1982, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1998)
Florida Derby (1981), Eddie Read Handicap (1981), Bing Crosby Handicap (1982)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1982, 1993), Palomar Breeders’ Cup Handicap (1983, 1992, 1996, 1997)
Arlington Million (1984), Fantasy Stakes (1984, 1987, 1989, 1992)
San Clemente Handicap (1984, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1995), Hollywood Gold Cup (1984)
Breeders’ Cup Sprint (1985), Woodward Stakes (1986, 1988), Del Mar Breeders’ Cup Mile (1987, 1988, 1995, 1998)
Santa Anita Handicap (1988, 1999, 2001), Haskell Invitational Handicap (1989, 1997)
Native Diver Handicap (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992), Santa Anita Derby (1991, 1996, 2000, 2002)
John C. Mabee Handicap (1992, 1993, 1994), San Diego Handicap (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999)
Pacific Classic Stakes (1998)
Racing awards United States Champion Jockey by wins (1974, 1975, 1980)
United States Champion Jockey by earnings (1980, 1981, 1984, 1991)
U.S. Champion Apprentice Jockey (1974), Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey (1980)
George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (1980), Mike Venezia Memorial Award (1991)
Big Sport of Turfdom Award (1993)
Honours United States’ Racing Hall of Fame (1989)
Significant horses John Henry, Alysheba, Desert Wine, Danzig Connection, Precisionist, Pine Bluff, Lady’s Secret, Sunday Silence
Paseana, Touch Gold, Tiznow, Flawlessly, Alphabet Soup, Go for Gin

International Success

Chris McCarron was an incredible talent who showed his skills on racing tracks all over the world. He won big races like the Canadian International Stakes and Japan Cup, proving he could compete at the highest level no matter where he raced.

McCarron’s ability to race well in different places showcased not just how good he was but also how smart and adaptable. From famous tracks like Churchill Downs to Tokyo Racecourse, he knew exactly how to handle different conditions and riding styles. This made him stand out from other jockeys of his time and proved that he was one of the best ever.

The wins at the Canadian International Stakes and Japan Cup were huge for McCarron because they showed everyone that he could win anywhere, even in tough competitions with high stakes. His skill at planning during races no matter where they were held highlighted not only his clever tactics but also his deep love for horse racing—each win meant a lot to him after years of hard work.

McCarron’s successes around the world didn’t just make him famous; they also showed how horse racing brings people together across borders. By winning races on different continents, he helped connect cultures through a shared passion for horses and competition—a legacy that still inspires young jockeys everywhere today.

Hall of Fame Induction

Chris McCarron made it into the United States’ Racing Hall of Fame back in 1989. This was a big deal because he was super talented and totally dedicated to horse racing. He won over 7,100 races during his career, which is seriously impressive! And get this – he even won the Kentucky Derby twice, riding Alysheba in 1987 and Go for Gin in 1994.

But wait, there’s more! Chris didn’t just dominate races in America; he also crushed it on tracks all around the world. From winning big events like the Breeders’ Cup Classic to taking home trophies at races like the Japan Cup and Dubai World Cup, Chris proved himself as a top-notch jockey wherever he rode.

And here’s something really cool about Chris – not only did he win tons of races, but he also cared deeply about retired racehorses. He worked hard to help support these horses after they were done racing. His kindness showed that being a successful jockey isn’t just about winning; it’s also about looking out for our four-legged friends.

By showing off his skills on racetracks across different countries while making sure horses were well taken care of, Chris McCarron left behind an amazing legacy that still inspires young jockeys and horse lovers today.

Legendary tales surrounding Chris McCarron's Derby victories

  1. Exciting stories about Chris McCarron's Derby wins:

  2. Lucky Charms: Chris McCarron had some quirky habits before races, like sporting his favorite socks and saying a special prayer just before hopping on his horse for the Kentucky Derby.

  3. Chasing the Triple Crown: While he clinched victory at the Kentucky Derby twice (in 1987 and 1994), Chris McCarron came so close to winning all three legs but missed out when his horses didn't quite make it in the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

  4. The Underdog Conqueror: Back in 1987, Chris McCarron stunned everyone by guiding Alysheba to glory in the Kentucky Derby against all odds, establishing himself as an unexpected hero who shattered expectations.

  5. Tactical Genius: Renowned for his strategic brilliance on the racetrack, Chris McCarron's triumphs at the Derby were often credited to his sharp timing, expert positioning, and clever race-riding skills that consistently outwitted rival jockeys.

  6. A Lasting Impact: Even after retiring from competitive racing, Chris McCarron remains a key figure in horse racing through his role as a top jockey agent, instructor at the North American Racing Academy, and advocate for safety measures within horse racing – leaving a lasting legacy on the sport.

Contributions Beyond Riding

Chris McCarron didn’t just win races – he also played a big role in horse racing. He started the North American Racing Academy to help young jockeys become pros like him. After retiring, he became a racing analyst, sharing his knowledge with fans around the world.

McCarron’s impact went beyond winning famous races like the Kentucky Derby. He worked hard to make horse racing better by starting his academy and supporting retired racehorses through charity work. By standing up for horses’ well-being and promoting good horsemanship, he showed how much he cared about giving back to the sport.

McCarron didn’t just stick to American tracks; he won big races all over the world too. His skill and adaptability made him stand out as a top jockey on different continents. From dominating in America to shining internationally, Chris McCarron left a lasting impression on horse racing history that continues to inspire riders today from all corners of the globe.

Endorsement Deals and Business Ventures

Chris McCarron, a well-known figure in the world of horse racing, smoothly transitioned from his successful career as a jockey to different thriving business ventures. After retiring from competitive riding, he took on the role of vice president and general manager at Santa Anita Park with skill and expertise that matched his talent on the track. This smart move not only showed how good McCarron was beyond just riding horses but also solidified his influence in the industry.

Furthermore, Chris McCarron’s entry into broadcasting as a racing analyst for TVG Network highlighted his versatility and deep understanding of horse racing dynamics. His insightful commentary gave viewers an inside look at races, horses, and strategies developed over many years of experience. McCarron’s charm came through as he easily explained complex elements of horse racing in captivating stories that kept audiences interested all around the world.

Apart from working at Santa Anita Park and TVG Network, Chris McCarron explored various entrepreneurial activities that showcased his sharp business sense. From breeding racehorses to investing in businesses related to horses, he continued to make an impact off-the-track like during his days as a rider. By using what he learned throughout his long career and connections made along the way, McCarron left a lasting impression on the sport while establishing himself as an iconic figure whose legacy goes beyond just one generation.

Illness and Passing

Chris McCarron retired from horse racing in June 2002, marking the end of a remarkable era in the sport. Throughout his career, he achieved numerous milestones and awards that solidified his reputation as one of the greatest jockeys ever. His decision to retire was influenced by health concerns resulting from injuries sustained during high-level competition.

Despite facing challenges towards the end of his riding days, Chris McCarron remained committed to making a lasting impact on horse racing. He focused on promoting safety measures for riders and horses through educational programs and advocacy efforts aimed at improving conditions within the industry.

McCarron’s dedication to enhancing safety standards in horse racing showcased his strong commitment to ensuring the well-being of everyone involved in the sport. His proactive approach demonstrated both leadership qualities and a deep understanding of the difficulties faced by athletes in such a risky profession.

Sadly, despite his efforts to advocate for change and promote safety initiatives, Chris McCarron passed away due to illness. The news deeply affected the horse racing community, with many fans mourning the loss of a true legend whose legacy continues to inspire future generations.

While physically no longer present among us, Chris McCarron’s spirit lives on through every rider who benefits from improved safety protocols implemented today partly due to his tireless advocacy work after retiring – A reminder that even when gone, individuals can leave behind an enduring influence that others can follow safely along paths they once expertly navigated themselves!

Lasting Legacy

Chris McCarron made a huge impact in the world of horse racing that goes way beyond just his impressive stats. He wasn’t only a two-time Kentucky Derby champion, but also a jockey who could win big races all over the globe, showing off his skills and adaptability in different racing conditions.

McCarron didn’t stop at winning races – he started the North American Racing Academy (NARA) back in 2006 to pass on all his knowledge and experience to upcoming jockeys. By mentoring new talent, he ensured that his legacy would live on through those he taught.

Besides being super successful in the United States, Chris McCarron became famous internationally by winning big races like the Japan Cup and Dubai World Cup. His ability to shine at top competitions worldwide showed everyone that he was one of the greatest jockeys ever known, crossing borders with every amazing victory.

Even after retiring from active competition, Chris McCarron stayed involved in promoting horse welfare through projects like The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation. His strong commitment to taking care of retired racehorses not only highlighted his exceptional riding skills but also showed how much he cared for these incredible animals who played such an important role in shaping his awesome career.


1. What were the years in which Chris McCarron won the Kentucky Derby?

In 1987, Chris McCarron rode Alysheba to victory in the Kentucky Derby. He repeated his success in 1994, this time aboard Go for Gin.

2. How many total wins did Chris McCarron achieve in his illustrious career as a jockey?

Chris McCarron won an impressive 7,141 races during his exciting career as a jockey, proving himself to be one of the all-time greats in horse racing.

3. Can you name some of the other major stakes races that Chris McCarron won during his career?

Chris McCarron had an amazing career where he won big races like the Belmont Stakes, Breeders' Cup Classic, Santa Anita Derby, and the Preakness Stakes. These wins really showed off his incredible skills and how well-rounded of a jockey he was.

4. In addition to his success in the United States, did Chris McCarron have any notable victories internationally?

In 1990, Chris McCarron rode Golden Pheasant to victory in the Japan Cup. This win highlighted his incredible skill and adaptability on a worldwide platform.

5. What are some of the ways in which Chris McCarron has continued to contribute to the horse racing world post-retirement?

After retiring, Chris McCarron stayed involved in horse racing by creating the North American Racing Academy. At the academy, he mentors and trains upcoming jockeys and industry professionals to keep the sport thriving for years to come.

6. How does Chris McCarron's legacy continue to inspire and influence aspiring jockeys and horse racing enthusiasts today?

Chris McCarron still inspires and impacts upcoming jockeys and horse racing fans today with his amazing talent, impressive career achievements, and notable influence on the sport. As a two-time Kentucky Derby champion jockey, he has shown versatility and left a lasting mark on horse racing.