Twitter icon
Facebook icon

Chris McCarron

Chris McCarron
Induction Year: 
Career Years: 
Number of Mounts: 
Number of Winners: 
Winning Percentage: 

Tab Wrapper


    Chris McCarron was born in Boston on March 27, 1955 and was introduced to the sport of Thoroughbred racing by his older brother, Greg. Chris McCarron began riding as a professional in 1974 and won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey that year.

    McCarron moved his tack to California in 1977 and that year scored the first of his three victories in the Kentucky Oaks. In 1980, he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey and the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.

    McCarron won nine Breeders’ Cup races, including five runnings of the Classic. He also won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes twice each. 

    Other major wins for McCarron include the Del Mar Oaks (4), Del Mar Futurity (4), Del Mar Handicap (6), Del Mar Debutante Stakes (3), La Jolla Handicap (7), San Bernardino Handicap (6), Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (7), San Felipe Stakes (7), Florida Derby, Eddie Read Handicap, Bing Crosby Handicap, Jockey Club Gold Cup (2), Arlington Million, Fantasy Stakes (4), San Clemente Handicap (5), Hollywood Gold Cup, Woodward Stakes (2), Santa Anita Handicap (3), Haskell Invitational (2), Santa Anita Derby (4), San Diego Handicap (6), Pacific Classic, Canadian International and Japan Cup.

    McCarron rode many of the best horses of his era, including John Henry, Alysheba, Precisionist, Lady’s Secret, Sunday Silence, Paseana, Tiznow, Touch Gold, Go for Gin and Alphabet Soup. 

    McCarron led all North American jockeys in earnings in 1980, 1981, 1984 and 1991. He also topped the leaderboard in wins in 1974, 1975 and 1980. 

    McCarron retired in 2002 with 7,141 wins and purse earnings of $263, 985,905. He served as technical advisor, racing designer and had an acting role in the 2003 film “Seabiscuit.” He currently instructs aspiring jockeys at the North American Racing Academy, which he founded to help hone the skills of young riders.

    Chris McCarron was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1989.