03/07/2013 5:35PM

Oaklawn Park: Borel wins 5,000th race as jockey

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Tom Keyser
Hall of Famer John Velazquez became the 29th jockey to reach the 5,000-win milestone.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Calvin Borel became the 26th jockey in North American racing history to win 5,000 races when he guided Hezunusal to a four-length victory in Thursday’s sixth race at Oaklawn Park.

Borel, 47, is a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby who last month was named one of 10 finalists on the 2013 ballot for the Hall of Fame. He also was the regular rider on 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Borel regularly winters in Arkansas, and in February 2005 registered the 4,000th win of his career at Oaklawn.

“I [never] dreamed of riding 5,000 races, much less winning 5,000 races,” Borel said Thursday. “We’ve won three Kentucky Derbies, a Preakness, did everything we wanted to accomplish. I wish my agent was here with me. I want to dedicate this race to Jerry Hissam.”

Hissam, who has been Borel’s agent for more than 20 years, has been in an out of the hospital the past month, fighting an infection in his pancreas. He recently returned home to Hot Springs after being hospitalized in Dallas. In his absence, Doc Danner has been booking mounts for Borel.

Hezunusal ($11.20) broke with the leaders from post 12 in the $15,000 maiden claiming sprint for Arkansas-breds and after dueling down the backside moved to the lead on the turn. The horse, a bald-faced runner making the second start of his career, was six lengths clear in the stretch. Borel was aboard for Horseplay LLC and trainer David Whited, a retired jockey who won 3,795 races as a rider.

Borel was surrounded by his fellow jockeys and others in the a winner’s circle for a presentation of a life-size trading card in his honor. Following the race, ontrack patrons were given commemorative trading cards provided by the City of Hot Springs. Borel dedicated the occasion to “all the good horses” he’d ridden, as well as supportive owners, trainers and fans.

Borel began riding match races in his native Louisiana at the age of 8. He would go on to win the 2007 Kentucky Derby with Street Sense, the 2009 running with Mine That Bird, and the 2010 edition with Super Saver. He also took the 2009 Kentucky Oaks and Preakness on Rachel Alexandra.

Borel’s first career win came at Delta Downs on Jan. 14, 1983. He lives in Louisville, Ky., with his wife, Lisa.

– additional reporting by Marty McGee

TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
now this is a guy who could write a best seller on the life of cajun jockey! congrats to you Calvin!
Jo Hooker More than 1 year ago
Calvin, I am so very proud of you!!!
Gerard Doise More than 1 year ago
Congratulations Boo, Boo!!! A hard working, hard riding fellow Louisiana man! It always brings back memories of the old Evangeline Downs.
Timothy Wheelster More than 1 year ago
Best jockey in the world!
Alex More than 1 year ago
He rode Halo America to her apple blossom championship, nuff said!!!
B More than 1 year ago
Never much cared for this guy. Just something about him seems nasty. Always wanted to see someone else on Rachel Alexandra, but I guess that turned out all right, so I shouldn't complain.
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
your a jerk
Sam More than 1 year ago
Not just cajon, john smith
John Smith More than 1 year ago
When I started out as an horse owner in the 80s in Louisiana, I sought out various trainers, including Cecil Borel, who had a good reputation as a horseman. I recall asking Cecil which jockeys he preferred to ride.. Without hesitation, he named his younger brother, Calvin "Boo" Borel. However, I was reluctant to commit to to a young jock who had little experience . Cecil's response was that his brother had to start somewhere and that he felt he had a lot of ability. I chose another trainer.. With that said....., may I be one of the first to congratulate Calvin on his special accomplishment. As an owner, I went on to win about 150 races.... Calvin outdid me with 5000 ! ...one of the all time great Cajun riders!
Sam More than 1 year ago
Instead of changing trainers, why didn't you just tell trainer Borel that you wanted another jock and that's it?
Sam More than 1 year ago
What was the best horse you ran?
John Smith More than 1 year ago
I once won the Evangline Mile with a claimer.. and did win a couple of stakes in Texas..but mostly claiming horses...not the type of owner that Baffert desires.
John Smith More than 1 year ago
I interviewed Cecil as a potential trainer- he was going to use his brother, period..so I moved on
John Smith More than 1 year ago
Now, before you bad mouth me totally, I did use Gerard Melancon and Curt Bourque extensively., and Robbie Albarado...Robbie was just a teen, but he could ride the hair off a horse...
Dustin Ohara More than 1 year ago
Such classy guy and phenomenal rider
Debbie Bertone Francis More than 1 year ago
Haters, go away, in a time when jocks, Nascar drivers and Hockey players are the only participants of sport that require two balls, show the respect!