Jockey Calvin Borel, winner of three of the last four renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the regular rider of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, will be honored Nov. 13 as the recipient of the 2010 Warner L. Jones Jr. Horseman of the Year Award, which is presented annually by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners.
Borel will receive the award on during the KTO’s 22nd annual awards dinner, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Seating for this event remains available at $125 per ticket or $1,000 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased by calling the KTO’s Marlene Meyer at (502) 458-5820 or Austin Berg at (502) 551-1193.
The KTO has presented the Warner L. Jones, Jr. Horseman of the Year Award since 1989 to a member of the racing industry who displays the spirit and passion for the sport exhibited by the late Warner L. Jones Jr., the famed Kentucky Thoroughbred breeder and owner, master of Hermitage Farm, and former chairman of the board of Churchill Downs.
The 44-year-old Borel is nearing the conclusion of another tremendous year highlighted by a victory in Kentucky Derby 136 aboard WinStar Farm’s homebred Super Saver and duties in the saddle aboard Rachel Alexandra, whose 2010 successes before her retirement in September included wins in the Fleur De Lis (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds, and Lady’s Secret at Monmouth Park.
This year’s Kentucky Derby victory by the native of Louisiana’s St. Martin Parish was an unprecedented third in four years, following a 2007 win aboard Street Sense and his 50-1 upset on Mine That Bird in 2009. Last year Borel guided Rachel Alexandra through a perfect eight-race championship campaign highlighted by her victory in the Kentucky Oaks, a win over 3-year-old fillies in the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) and three victories over males in the Preakness, Haskell Invitational, and the Woodward (all gr. I). The Preakness win was the first in that Triple Crown classic by a filly since 1924.
Borel’s accomplishments this year also include his first Spring Meet riding title at Churchill Downs, where he had previously won or shared in three Fall Meet titles and ranks in the top five among the historic track’s all-time leading jockeys. He notched his 1,000th career victory at Churchill Downs during the 2010 Spring Meet, and overall has won more than 4,800 races in a career that began on the bush tracks in Louisiana’s Cajun Country at age 8. He officially launched a career in the saddle at age 16.
After earning riding titles in Louisiana at Louisiana Downs, Delta Downs and Evangeline Downs and Arkansas’ Oaklawn Park, Borel moved to Kentucky in 1996 and immediately earned a riding crown at Ellis Park.
Borel’s Triple Crown successes led to national television appearances on “Today,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, and “Late Night with David Letterman.” Borel has twice been honored as America’s top jockey with an “ESPY” award (2007, 2009) from ESPN, and the National Turf Writers Association honored him in 2007 with its “Mr. Fitz” Award, which annually honors an individual who typifies the spirit of racing.
Earlier this year his fellow jockeys honored Borel as the 61st recipient of the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, which honors and recognizes riders whose careers and personal character have earned esteem for both the individual jockey and the sport of Thoroughbred racing.