By Mint Julep

Craig Perret Jockey: One Kentucky Derby Win

kentucky derby winner unbridled 1990

Join the thrilling journey of jockey Craig Perret as we delve into his remarkable career. From his humble beginnings in New Orleans, witness his rise to fame in American horse racing. Experience the excitement of his Kentucky Derby win aboard Unbridled in 1990, a moment that established him as a top jockey. Explore Perret’s impressive record of over 4,400 victories, including notable wins at races like the Florida Derby and Breeders’ Cup events. Discover how his exceptional skills have left a lasting legacy in the world of horse racing for all to admire!

Early Life and Family Background

Born on February 2, 1951, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Craig Perret started his horse racing journey at a young age. He rode quarter horses in match races when he was just starting out and this laid the foundation for what would become a successful career as an American thoroughbred horse racing jockey. Growing up surrounded by horses and immersed in equestrian sports since childhood helped Perret develop a deep understanding and connection to these amazing animals that later set him apart on the racetrack.

The sights and sounds of Louisiana’s bustling racecourses fueled Craig Perret’s passion for horse racing like nothing else could. The thundering hooves pounding against the dirt track resonated through his soul and inspired him to pursue excellence in this thrilling sport. With each stride next to these majestic creatures, Perret honed his skills and built an unbreakable bond based on trust and mutual respect.

In every race he competed in, Craig Perret brought not only years of experience but also a legacy deeply rooted in family tradition. Support from loved ones shaped him into the formidable jockey known for finesse on the saddle and strategic brilliance during high-stakes competitions. From humble beginnings marked by dusty trails to celebrated victories under flashing lights – every twist of fate only solidified Craig’s resolve to leave an indelible mark on the history books of worldwide horse racing.

Introduction to Racing

Craig Perret started his journey in the world of horse racing when he was only fifteen years old, showing his early love and dedication to the sport. By 1967, he had already become known as the top apprentice jockey in the United States because of his impressive earnings, setting the stage for a remarkable career ahead.

Throughout his long career spanning decades, Craig Perret won over 4,400 races on various tracks across the country. His ability to excel in different racing conditions and distances was evident in major wins like the Florida Derby, Acorn Stakes, Pimlico Special, Travers Stakes,Haskell Invitational Handicap,and Wood Memorial Stakes.

Perret’s skill in navigating tricky racecourses and understanding horses’ movements made him stand out among other jockeys. His strategic approach and impeccable timing were crucial factors that led to many victories on both turf and dirt tracks.

Known for handling young talents with potential or seasoned champions aiming for prestigious titles,such as Sunday Silenceand Unbridled,Baffert often turned to Perret’s expertise when looking for victory on some of horse racing’s biggest stages.During these partnerships,Craig showed a deep understanding of each horse’s unique strengths,reinforcing why he was considered one of elite circles’ best jockeys.

In conclusion,Craig Perret left an unforgettable mark on thoroughbred racing through his extraordinary achievements,his unwavering commitment,and significant influence.His legacy continues to inspire aspiring jockeys,to captivate pundits,and enchant fans worldwide.The story of Craig Perrett isn’t just about winning races; it embodies resilience,determination,and unyielding spirit — traits that define champions beyond their time spent atop magnificent steeds thundering down home stretches toward glory.

The Pros & Cons of Jockeying for Position


  1. Helps riders get a good position at the start of the race

  2. Lets them set the pace of the race

  3. Improves their chances of avoiding traffic and accidents

  4. Allows riders to save their horse's energy for the end strategically


  1. The risk of using up too much energy at the beginning of the race

  2. Other horses might block your way

  3. You may bump into or get in the way of other competitors

  4. This can create more pressure and stress for both the jockey and horse

Kentucky Derby Victory

In 1990, Craig Perret had a big win at the Kentucky Derby that was a high point in his career. It showed off how good he was at horse racing on the biggest stage there is. He rode Unbridled to victory and everyone could see his amazing talent and skill.

This win wasn’t just a regular one – it made sure people would always remember Craig Perret in horse racing history. It proved he never gave up and worked hard all those years. The Kentucky Derby win also showed how well Perret got along with horses, helping them do their best when it counted most.

Winning first place at Churchill Downs on Unbridled was huge for Craig Perret because it proved he could handle tough situations as a jockey really well. His careful planning and deep knowledge of race strategies came through during this famous race.

With this Kentucky Derby win, Craig Perret became known as one of the greats in horse racing history, inspiring new jockeys and keeping fans around the world excited about the sport.

Major Stakes Wins

Craig Perret had an incredible career as a jockey, winning over 4,400 races. He showed off his amazing skills in races like the Florida Derby and Acorn Stakes. Winning big events like the Pimlico Special and Travers Stakes proved that he was one of the best in the business.

The Haskell Invitational Handicap was another impressive win for Craig Perret, showing how good he was at high-stakes races. Every victory made him more famous in horse racing history, leaving a lasting impact on the sport. His triumph in the Wood Memorial Stakes added to his legacy, showcasing his talent and determination.

From thrilling finishes to smart moves on the track, Craig Perret’s wins were magical moments. Each victory wasn’t just about winning but also about all the hard work, dedication, and passion he put into horse racing. As fans cheered for him from all around world racecourses, Perret kept striving for greatness with every step forward towards success.

Legendary Jockey's Remarkable Achievements Revealed

Category Information
Occupation Jockey
Born (1951-02-02) February 2, 1951 (age 73)
New Orleans, Louisiana
United States
Career wins 4,415
Major racing wins Gazelle Handicap (1968)
Arlington-Washington Futurity (1971, 1986)
Racing awards U.S. Champion Apprentice Jockey by earnings (1967)
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey (1990)
George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (1998)
Honors Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame (1994)
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (2006)
National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (2019)
Significant horses Honest Pleasure, Bet Twice, Unbridled
Strike the Gold, Alydeed, Peteski
Forty Niner, Rhythm, Pine Bluff, With Approval

Breeders’ Cup Success

Craig Perret was a highly successful jockey who excelled at the prestigious Breeders’ Cup, showcasing his exceptional talent. He won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 1984 and again in 1990, proving his speed and precision on racing’s biggest stage. His victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 1989 highlighted his skill in guiding young horses to success, establishing him as a versatile and talented rider.

In addition to these achievements, Craig Perret also triumphed at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies race in 1996. This win demonstrated not only his consistency but also his ability to adapt across different categories of horse races. Throughout these victories, Perret showed unwavering focus and determination that distinguished him from other riders on the track.

Looking back at Craig Perret’s legacy in horse racing reveals that his success at the Breeders’ Cup was a defining moment in an impressive career filled with accolades. These wins further confirmed Perret’s status as one of the sport’s top jockeys, leaving a lasting impression on fans who witnessed him expertly navigate through high-stakes competitions with finesse and style.

Accolades and Awards

Everyone in the horse racing world knew Craig Perret for his amazing talent and dedication to his craft. He really stood out, winning the prestigious Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1990. This award showed just how skilled he was on a horse and cemented his place as one of the best jockeys of his time. It proved that he could consistently deliver top-notch performances at racetracks all over the country.

Then, in 1998, Craig Perret earned another big honor when his fellow riders gave him the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. This award not only recognized Perret’s skill as a jockey but also praised him for being fair and honest in everything he did within the industry. The award is named after George Woolf, a legendary jockey known for excelling both on and off the track. For Perret to receive this recognition from other jockeys says a lot about how much they respected and admired him – showing just how impactful he was in horse racing.

These awards are lasting symbols of Craig Perret’s legacy in horse racing, showcasing not only his incredible riding skills but also his unwavering commitment to being great at what he does. Winning both the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey and the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award proves just how much of an impact Perret made on this sport – with victories won and hearts touched along every step of his journey.

Legendary tales about Craig Perret's Derby victory

  1. The story goes that Craig Perret rocked a pair of lucky socks during his epic Kentucky Derby win. It's said these socks brought him good luck and helped seal the deal for his victory.

  2. Against all odds, Craig Perret's triumph in the Kentucky Derby is hailed as a classic underdog tale. He wasn't seen as a top contender before the race, but his determination and skill pushed him to an incredible win.

  3. Racing fans and experts have praised Perret for his spot-on timing and smart moves during the big race. His ability to navigate through the pack and make quick decisions were key factors in clinching his Derby success.

  4. The bond between Craig Perret and his winning horse is often romanticized in racing stories. Their seamless connection and trust are believed to have boosted their performance on that decisive Derby day with unmatched harmony.

  5. 5 .Craig Perret's legendary Derby victory lives on as a cherished moment in horse racing history, inspiring jockeys-to-be while reminding us of the enchantment that can unfold at Churchill Downs' historic track.

Hall of Fame Inductions

Craig Perret earned a well-deserved spot in prestigious halls of fame for his incredible accomplishments and lasting influence on horse racing. He was honored with inductions into the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame in 1994, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, and later joined the renowned National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2019.

Throughout his impressive career as a jockey, Craig Perret showcased exceptional talent by securing over 4,400 victories. His list of triumphs included wins at major races like the Florida Derby, Acorn Stakes, Pimlico Special, Travers Stakes, Haskell Invitational Handicap, and Wood Memorial Stakes. His ability to adapt to different horses’ styles set him apart from his peers.

Perret’s skillful maneuvers on the racetrack made him a formidable competitor on race days. Whether expertly navigating through tight spaces or unleashing bursts of speed during crucial moments down the home stretch – he always delivered spectacular performances that left fans and fellow jockeys impressed.

The multiple hall of fame inductions underscore Craig Perret’s significant impact on horse racing history. Each accolade serves as a reminder that his remarkable talent transcended generations while leaving an enduring legacy within the sport he cherished – forever cementing his place among legendary figures whose names will stand alongside his own throughout time.

Notable Horses Ridden

Craig Perret had an amazing career riding incredible horses like Honest Pleasure, Bet Twice, and Strike The Gold. He won big races such as the Florida Derby and Acorn Stakes, showing off his outstanding skills on the track.

Now that Craig has retired from racing, he lives a peaceful life on a farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky. There, he enjoys family time while running a small breeding business for full-breed horses. This change from his fast-paced racing days lets him get back to his roots and help out in the horse community through breeding.

Craig Perret’s legacy is all about his talent and dedication to horse racing history. His wins in races like the Pimlico Special and Travers Stakes prove how skilled he was as a jockey. Respected by others in the sport and honored with hall of fame inductions, Craig’s influence reaches far beyond just one generation of fans.

Riding legendary horses including Alydeed and Pine Bluff showed Craig’s expertise throughout his amazing career. Each victory at events like the Haskell Invitational Handicap solidified him as one of America’s top jockeys. As time goes on, people will always remember Craig Perret for inspiring future generations with his remarkable achievements in horse racing.


1. How many Kentucky Derby wins does Craig Perret have?

Craig Perret won the Kentucky Derby once.

2. What other major stakes races has Craig Perret won besides the Kentucky Derby?

Craig Perret has won big races like the Florida Derby, Acorn Stakes, Pimlico Special, Travers Stakes, Haskell Invitational Handicap, and Wood Memorial Stakes. These victories show how talented and versatile he is as a jockey.

3. How did Craig Perret's riding style contribute to his success in the Kentucky Derby?

Craig Perret's calm and smart way of riding, along with his impressive talent and years of experience, helped him win the Kentucky Derby. He was able to handle the tough race conditions well and position his horses for success because of his skillful riding style.

4. What sets Craig Perret apart from other jockeys in terms of skill and strategy in big races like the Kentucky Derby?

Craig Perret showed incredible talent and smart decision-making in big horse races like the Kentucky Derby. He won many important events such as the Florida Derby, Acorn Stakes, Pimlico Special, Travers Stakes, Haskell Invitational Handicap, and Wood Memorial Stakes. These victories made him stand out from other jockeys and proved he was a top-notch rider on the racetrack.

5. Can you elaborate on Craig Perret's approach to racing and how it helped him secure victories in prestigious events like the Travers Stakes and Haskell Invitational Handicap?

Craig Perret's careful way of racing, along with his excellent skills and thorough knowledge of every horse he rode, helped him win big races like the Travers Stakes and Haskell Invitational Handicap. This showed how great he was as a jockey because he could ride any horse and win.

6. How did Craig Perret's triumphs in the Florida Derby, Acorn Stakes, Pimlico Special, and Wood Memorial Stakes showcase his versatility as a jockey?

Craig Perret showed his incredible skills by winning the Florida Derby, Acorn Stakes, Pimlico Special, and Wood Memorial Stakes. He proved he was a top jockey who could win big races on all types of tracks and distances.