Jockey Calvin Borel was the recipient of this year’s ESPY award for top jockey and received the award during a presentation ceremony at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre July 11, said the jockey’s agent, Jerry Hissam.
Borel, who won this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) aboard Jim Tafel’s Street Sense, was on a flight from California to Louisiana, where he will participate in Evangeline Downs’ inaugural Cajun jockey challenge, at the time of this writing. However, Hissam said the 40-year-old jockey was honored to accept the award.
“It’s a big thrill – another big thrill,” said Hissam. “They keep on coming and we’re loving it.”
Borel surpassed Robby Albarado, rider of Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin, and internationally-known jockey Frankie Dettori, to claim the award. Borel has won 97 races from 607 starts so far this year, with current earnings of $5,411,481 and a 16% win rate. He will best be remembered for his unabashed display of emotion after winning the Kentucky Derby, which he termed “the most greatest moment of my life.”
The ESPYs gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2007 ESPYs included both sport-specific awards such as Best MLB Player and Best WNBA Player as well as “Best in Sport” awards, categories that pit different sports against each other, such as best team or best female athlete.
Last year’s ESPY Award winner in the top jockey category was Edgar Prado, rider of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. The inaugural ESPYs were awarded in 1993. This year, ESPN will televise the 15th Annual Sports Celebration from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre July 15 at 9 p.m. (EST)