Popular Churchill Downs-based jockey Calvin Borel, who swept this year’s Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aboard Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird, respectively, will be honored at Churchill Downs Nov. 21-22 with a bobblehead giveaway, autograph session, roast, and his very own drink special.
The first 7,500 fans through admission gates Nov. 21 will receive a free Calvin Borel bobblehead, courtesy of Kroger. The great majority of the Borel bobbleheads will showcase the 43-year-old Cajun in the familiar silks of Derby winner Mine That Bird. However, as a special treat, there will be 75 autographed, limited edition Borel bobbleheads mixed in the allotment that showcase the silks of leading Horse of the Year candidate Rachel Alexandra.
Only 500 Borel bobbleheads with Rachel Alexandra’s silks were made and the remaining 425 will be sold near the PEB mural in the ITW area on the second floor of the clubhouse for $49.95 by Leonard Lusky of Commemorative Derby Promotions. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund.
On Nov. 22, Borel will participate in a free autograph session with fans so they can get their bobbleheads and other memorabilia signed.
Borel will also be a special guest during the Nov. 21 “Get in the Game” seminar in the paddock area at 11:50 a.m. EDT.
A roast in honor of Borel, complete with praise, outlandish stories, and comedic insults from special guests, will take place after the races on Nov. 22 in the Triple Crown Room. Tickets for the much-anticipated plated dinner are $100 and proceeds will benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center.
Borel, a native of St. Martin Parish, La. who rode his first professional winner at age 16 on Jan. 14, 1983 at Delta Downs, began the week with 4,678 career victories, including 73 graded stakes wins, from 31,576 career mounts. His mounts had earned more than $105.7 million.
Born Nov. 7, 1966, Borel – nicknamed “Bo-Rail” for his penchant of hugging the inside rail en route to numerous victories – is second to the legendary Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day in career wins at Churchill Downs with 958 trips to the winner’s circle, and ranks sixth in local stakes wins with 45. He has cracked the top five of the Churchill Downs jockey standings for 23 of the last 28 meetings since the fall of 1995, including titles during the 1999 and 2006 Fall Meets. He has been a runner-up on eight occasions.