The jockey title at Saratoga will be named in honor of Hall of Famer Angel Cordero, Jr., a 14-time leading rider at the Spa, it was announced July 30.
Cordero, known as the “King of Saratoga,” won his first riding title at the Spa in 1967, riding 36 winners at the age of 25.
Nine years later he came back to take his second title, with 29 winners in 1976, beginning a string of 11 straight years he remained atop the jockey standings. In 1987 Cordero’s streak was snapped by Jose Santos, but he returned to win again in 1988 and 1989.
“For most of the 1970s and all of the 1980s, Angel Cordero, Jr., and Saratoga were synonymous,” said NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward. “We are extremely pleased to honor Angel by naming racing’s most prestigious jockey title after him.”
During a career that spanned four decades, Cordero won nearly every major race at Saratoga. Inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 1988, Cordero won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1982 and 1983. He led all North American riders in earnings in 1976, 1982 and 1983, and in wins in 1968.
Cordero, who was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, retired in 1992 with 7,057 career victories. He currently serves as the agent for John Velazquez, who was Saratoga’s top rider in 2010 with 57 winners.