By Mint Julep

Eddie Arcaro Jockey: 5 Kentucky Derby Wins From 21 Mounts

lawrin kentucky derby winner 1938

Eddie Arcaro, the legendary American jockey in Thoroughbred horse racing, made an unforgettable impact on the sport with his incredible success in classic races. Throughout his impressive career, he achieved two U.S. Triple Crown victories and clinched first place in five Kentucky Derbies and six Belmont Stakes. His exceptional riding skills and strategic brilliance earned him the nickname “the Master,” establishing him as one of the greatest jockeys in horse racing history.

Early Life and Family Background

Eddie Arcaro, a true American hero of horse racing, began his journey to greatness from humble beginnings. He was born prematurely in Cincinnati, Ohio to Italian immigrants Pasquale and Josephine when they were just 19 years old. Eddie faced challenges right from the start, being born weighing only three pounds.

However, like a determined colt overcoming early hurdles to dominate on the racetrack, Arcaro defied expectations and rose as one of the most respected jockeys in horse racing history.

From those tough early days emerged a champion whose legacy would forever be remembered in racing circles. Eddie Arcaro’s transformation from that fragile beginning into an icon of American Thoroughbred racing is truly extraordinary. His story showcases resilience, determination, and an unwavering love for horses that propelled him to legendary status within the sport.

Eddie Arcaro inherited strong traits of resilience and perseverance from his immigrant heritage—a blend that gave him unshakable strength while navigating life’s twists and turns. With every ride he took on majestic steeds across tracks in America and beyond, Arcaro not only left hoofprints but also a lasting impact on horse racing history for future generations to admire with wonder and respect.

Introduction to Racing

Eddie Arcaro’s adventure in the horse racing world began when he was just a teenager. At the age of 16 in 1932, he experienced his first taste of victory at the Agua Caliente racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico. This win marked the beginning of an impressive career for him. It set the stage for what would become a series of remarkable accomplishments in some of America’s most prestigious classic races.

Arcaro quickly showed his talent and determination on the track as he continued to race and win. His ability to connect with horses and understand their behaviors played a significant role in his consistent success throughout his career. With every stride towards the finish line, Eddie Arcaro proved himself as one of history’s greatest jockeys, captivating audiences with his exceptional skill and unwavering love for horse racing.

As Arcaro competed nationally and internationally, he left behind a lasting legacy that exceeded mere victories or defeats. His story is one about hard work, dedication, and resilience against all odds – qualities that propelled him to greatness. Eddie Arcaro’s influence continues through generations of fans who are still amazed by his incredible achievements on tracks worldwide.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Inspiring and motivating those who dream of becoming jockeys
  2. Setting records and reaching incredible milestones
  3. Entertaining audiences with exciting performances
  4. Boosting the reputation of horse racing events
  5. Creating a lasting impact in the sport
  6. Offering valuable insights into strategies for racing


  1. Athletes face a lot of pressure and close inspection in important races
  2. They have to deal with physical dangers and injuries when they compete
  3. Juggling tough training routines alongside personal life can be challenging
  4. They work hard to stay at the top of their game while managing other responsibilities
  5. Coping with the competitive side of racing can be tough sometimes
  6. Taking part continuously might lead to feeling tired or burnt out

Triple Crown Triumphs

Eddie Arcaro was a legendary jockey known for his exceptional talent and intuitive race-riding skills. He achieved the remarkable feat of winning the U.S. Triple Crown not once, but twice, aboard Whirlaway in 1941 and Citation in 1948. These victories solidified his status as a true icon of horse racing history.

Throughout his career, Eddie Arcaro dominated the Kentucky Derby with five impressive wins. His ability to connect with each horse he rode set him apart from others, bringing out their best performances when it mattered most. Whether coming from behind or commanding races from the front, Arcaro consistently showcased why he was considered one of the greatest jockeys ever.

In the Belmont Stakes, Eddie Arcaro stood out with an unmatched record of six wins – a record that still stands today. His strategic brilliance shone on those grueling mile-and-a-half races at Belmont Park where stamina and tactical acumen were crucial for success. With nerves of steel and unwavering focus, Arcaro expertly guided horses through each turn and stretch run, captivating audiences with his ability to lead horses to victory time after time.

Major Stakes Wins

Eddie Arcaro was a legendary jockey in horse racing, known for winning numerous high-profile races that cemented his status as one of the greatest riders in history. He made history by winning the Suburban Handicap an incredible eight times and dominating the Wood Memorial Stakes on nine occasions. His exceptional skills were evident in his ten victories at the prestigious Jockey Club Gold Cup, showcasing his talent and strategic prowess on the track.

Beyond conquering American classic races, Arcaro also excelled internationally, proving himself adaptable and versatile on various tracks around the world. Fans and competitors respected him for his ability to adjust to different competition styles wherever he raced. Each major win further solidified Arcaro’s reputation as a master of horseracing who transcended boundaries with finesse.

Eddie Arcaro’s achievements in major stakes wins were remarkable, highlighting not only his riding abilities but also his unwavering dedication to the sport. His deep understanding of equine behavior set him apart from other jockeys, enabling him to navigate racecourses with precision and secure victories against tough opponents.

Amidst fierce competition and rivalries within horse racing worldwide, Eddie Arcaro stood out as a paragon of excellence. Known for bringing fear to competitors and awe to spectators with each victory he secured astride powerful thoroughbreds charging towards success—his mastery remains etched in racing history as a testament to both extraordinary talent and lasting impact on the sport.

Reflecting on Eddie Arcaro’s triumphs—from Suburban Handicaps to Wood Memorial Stakes—it is clear that his legacy continues through time inspiring generations of racing enthusiasts. Aspiring jockeys are drawn to emulate his precision, grace, determination both on and off-track—a reminder that passion drives greatness beyond mere statistics can capture.”

Triple Crown Victories and Near Misses

Year Kentucky Derby Winner Preakness Winner Belmont Winner
1935 Nellie Flag Nellie Flag
1938 Lawrin
1939 Hash
1941 Whirlaway Whirlaway Whirlaway
1942 Shut Out
1944 Stir Up Stir Up
1945 Hoop Jr.
1946 Lord Boswell
1947 Phalanx Phalanx
1948 Citation Citation Citation
1949 Olympia
1950 Hill Prince Hill Prince Hill Prince
1951 Battle Morn
1952 Hill Gail
1953 Correspondent
1954 Goyamo
1955 Nashua Nashua Nashua
1956 Head Man
1957 Bold Ruler Bold Ruler Bold Ruler
1958 Jewel’s Reward
1959 First Landing First Landing
1960 Venetian Way
1961 Sherluck

International Success

Eddie Arcaro was an incredible horse racer who dominated tracks like Churchill Downs and Epsom with his amazing skills. He achieved major victories in races such as the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack and the Washington D.C. International at Laurel Park Racecourse, establishing himself as a worldwide icon in horse racing. Competing against Europe’s top racers, Arcaro showcased unmatched talent and determination on a global scale, dazzling audiences with his exceptional abilities.

With each powerful stride echoing across countries, Eddie Arcaro made his mark in racing history with unforgettable performances. Watching him guide champions around bends and down straight paths captivated fans everywhere, whether he was racing under the Twin Spires or far away in foreign lands. His wins went beyond mere competition; they were works of art created with precision and elegance that captured hearts all over the world.

By taking on new challenges across oceans, Eddie Arcaro demonstrated that true greatness transcends borders and limits. From North America to Europe and beyond, his legacy continues to resonate through time like a classic tune that never loses its charm—a tribute to one man’s unwavering commitment to excellence every time he raced on prestigious turf globally.

Hall of Fame Induction

When Eddie Arcaro was inducted into several prestigious halls of fame, it proved just how incredibly talented he was and the huge impact he had on horse racing. By winning major American races and competing internationally, Arcaro showed that he truly was a legend in the sport. He made it into the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1958 for his outstanding achievements, and later entered the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame in 1971, solidifying his place as one of the best jockeys ever.

Arcaro’s career stood out because of all the amazing things he achieved. Winning five times at both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes not only highlighted his exceptional skill but also showed how determined he was to succeed on horseback. People knew him for being really good at planning strategies during races and having perfect timing – qualities that made him known as a fantastic jockey who could lead any horse to victory with style and expertise. His inductions into these hall of fames were more than just awards; they were tributes to an outstanding career marked by excellence, fair play, and a strong desire for greatness.

Eddie Arcaro wasn’t just about numbers or records – his influence went far beyond that. He became a symbol for never giving up, working hard, staying humble – someone young jockeys all over looked up to as an example. His lasting legacy reminds us that true success isn’t just about winning but also about who you are as a person – your values matter too! Even now fans still celebrate everything Arcaro did long after he retired from racing – proving that those who love watching horses race will always hold him close to their hearts because they appreciate what makes this sport so magical.

Legendary Jockey’s Derby Triumphs and Timeless Tales

  1. Legendary Jockey’s Wins and Stories from the Kentucky Derby:
  2. Eddie Arcaro set a remarkable record as the jockey with the most wins in the Kentucky Derby, boasting an impressive total of 5 victories.
  3. Despite participating in just 21 races at the Kentucky Derby, Arcaro clinched all 5 wins, displaying his exceptional skills and natural talent.
  4. Arcaro’s first victory at the Kentucky Derby was back in 1938 when he rode Lawrin to win, followed by triumphs in 1941 (Whirlaway), 1945 (Hoop Jr.), 1948 (Citation), and finally in 1952 with Hill Gail.
  5. Nicknamed “Master of Pace” due to his strategic race-riding style, Arcaro earned a reputation for controlling race tempo effectively and positioning his horse for success.
  6. Eddie Arcaro is celebrated not just for his incredible wins at the Kentucky Derby but also for leaving a lasting impact on horse racing history through his enduring legacy as one of its greatest jockeys ever.

Contributions Beyond Riding

Eddie Arcaro didn’t just win races – he also made a big impact off the track. He wasn’t just an excellent jockey, but he was also a pioneer in fighting for jockeys’ rights and well-being by helping start the Jockeys’ Guild. His efforts to improve conditions for riders set a high standard that still helps people in horse racing today.

Besides his success as a jockey, Arcaro’s influence reached beyond riding when he became a TV commentator after retiring. People loved listening to his smart analysis and deep knowledge of horse racing, which earned him respect within the sport. By moving from riding to providing expert commentary, Arcaro showed off his many talents and unwavering love for horse racing.

Arcaro didn’t just make an impact with his victories on the track; he went further by actively working on projects like founding the Jockeys’ Guild and sharing what he knew through TV commentary. This left a strong impression on current and future generations of jockeys, fans, and industry pros alike. His legacy is proof that one person can truly make a lasting difference in their sport.

Looking back at Eddie Arcaro’s incredible career shows us that his influence went way beyond numbers or wins; it was all about making things better in horse racing for everyone involved. By supporting organizations like the Jockeys’ Guild and engaging audiences with insightful commentary even after retiring, Arcaro showed true dedication to improving every aspect of this sport.

As we honor Eddie Arcaro’s achievements both on and off the racetrack, let’s see him not only as an amazing rider but also as someone who led others into new opportunities within horse racing. His work outside of riding should inspire anyone who wants to leave behind something meaningful that lasts long after they step out of the spotlight.

Endorsement Deals and Business Ventures

After retiring from racing, Eddie Arcaro showed his diverse talents and business skills. He jumped into the world of endorsements and became the face of Buick Motor Division. His charm captivated audiences, and he helped increase sales with the famous slogan “If you price a Buick, you’ll buy a Buick.” This move into advertising not only highlighted his racing abilities but also showcased his talent for engaging people beyond the racetrack.

Aside from representing Buick successfully, Eddie Arcaro ventured into entrepreneurship by entering the restaurant industry. His Italian eatery in trendy Beverly Hills quickly became a favorite spot for celebrities and horse racing fans alike. Known for its delicious food and inviting atmosphere, Arcaro’s restaurant represented his shift from being a legendary jockey to becoming a savvy businessman.

By smoothly moving from winning races to excelling in business meetings, Eddie Arcaro proved that he was more than just a jockey – he was an all-around icon who made an unforgettable impact on both sports and business worlds. With every endorsement deal signed and every tasty dish served at his esteemed establishment, Arcaro continued to charge forward with unyielding determination and entrepreneurial spirit that mirrored his drive on the track.

Illness and Passing

After Eddie Arcaro retired, his health declined rapidly. In 1962, he was hit hard by severe bursitis. But instead of giving up, he showed incredible strength and kept inspiring many with his unwavering determination. As time passed, life’s challenges took a toll on him, testing even his legendary resolve.

In the later years of his life, Eddie Arcaro faced a tough battle against illness. However, true to form, he fought bravely until the very end. His never-give-up attitude mirrored that of the champions he rode during his amazing career—fearless in the face of obstacles and always ready to give their best despite all odds.

On November 14th, 1997 at his home in Miami—the place where he had celebrated so many victories—Eddie Arcaro said goodbye to this world because of illness. His passing not only marked the end of an era in horse racing but also reminded everyone how fleeting life can be. Though no longer with us physically, Eddie Arcaro’s legacy lives on through history—an everlasting tribute to one of racing’s greatest icons who left an unforgettable mark on hearts across generations.

Lasting Legacy

Eddie Arcaro left a lasting mark on horse racing that’s as timeless as any classic. His career spanned decades and he was known for his winning streaks and top-notch skills. He snagged an impressive 17 Triple Crown race wins and clinched five Kentucky Derby titles, cementing his status as a true legend in the sport.

Arcaro stood out from other jockeys with his smart strategies and ability to understand horses better than anyone else. That’s why they called him “the Master.” He didn’t just ride horses; he formed unbreakable connections with them, predicting their next moves like a pro. His bond with these amazing animals was truly exceptional, helping him glide through tough races with ease.

Even outside of America, Eddie Arcaro wowed crowds worldwide with his flawless riding style and unwavering determination. Whether it was dominating races like the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France or thrilling fans at Royal Ascot in England, Arcaro’s fame knew no bounds. He left an unforgettable mark on global horse racing culture.

Today, Eddie Arcaro remains an inspiration for young jockeys and fans everywhere who dream of making it big in the sport. His legacy reminds us that greatness comes from hard work, persistence, and a deep love for what you do. Looking back at all he achieved in horse racing history serves as proof: Eddie Arcaro will always be remembered as one of the greatest jockeys to have graced the track – forever etched into our hearts.


1. How did Eddie Arcaro’s riding style set him apart from other jockeys of his time?

Eddie Arcaro stood out from other jockeys with his exceptional riding style. He had flawless timing, strategic patience, and incredible skill in leading horses to win races. These qualities made him a true legend in the horse racing world, setting him apart from his peers.

2. What were some key factors that contributed to Eddie Arcaro’s unprecedented success in the Kentucky Derby?

Eddie Arcaro’s amazing achievements in the Kentucky Derby were all thanks to his incredible talent as a jockey, his expert knowledge of race strategies, and his ability to build strong connections with top trainers and owners. These skills led him to an outstanding record of winning the prestigious race five times.

3. Can you elaborate on Eddie Arcaro’s impact on the international horse racing scene beyond his American classic victories?

Eddie Arcaro’s incredible talent and dominance in American classic races not only made him a legend in the sport but also turned him into a global icon. His skills inspired horse racing fans around the world, earning their admiration for his exceptional abilities and commitment to excellence on an international level.

4. In what ways did Eddie Arcaro’s partnership with notable trainers enhance his career and lead to his multiple triumphs in prestigious races?

Eddie Arcaro teamed up with famous trainers like Ben Jones and Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, who gave him valuable advice, mapped out smart race strategies, and connected him with top-notch horses. This partnership helped Eddie win many big races such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes multiple times.

5. How did Eddie Arcaro’s exceptional skill and strategic race-riding abilities influence future generations of jockeys in the sport of horse racing?

Eddie Arcaro’s incredible talent and smart race-riding tactics have set a high bar for excellence that still motivates and impacts upcoming generations of jockeys in horse racing. This has influenced how they approach races, cementing his legacy as one of the best jockeys ever.