Alex O. Solis

Alex Solis got his first taste of racetrack life when his father took him to Hipodromo Presidente Remon in Panama City in 1978.

Alex Solis in 1998 (Benoit Photo)



March 25, 1964, Panama City, Panama







Racing Record


Win %


Alex Solis got his first taste of racetrack life when his father took him to Hipodromo Presidente Remon in Panama City in 1978.

“I had been around horses since I was about five years old, but I didn’t know about the sport because I grew up in the country,” Solis said. “My dad took me to the track and said I should be a jockey. I fell in love with the whole thing instantly … the horses, the jockeys, the competition of it all. I knew right away I wanted to be a rider.”

A year later, Solis enrolled in Panama’s jockey school at the age of 15 and graduated two years later in 1981. The following year, he arrived in the United States to finish his apprenticeship and spent three years in Florida before accepting an offer to ride in California. It was after his move to California in 1985 that Solis rose to prominence, thrust into the spotlight on the back of Snow Chief.

Solis and Snow Chief won eight graded stakes together from 1985 through 1987, five of them Grade 1s, including the 1986 Preakness. Solis also won 11 stakes with Kona Gold, including the first of his three Breeders’ Cup wins, in the 2000 Sprint.

Voted the 1997 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award by his fellow riders and the first winner of the Bill Shoemaker Award as the top jockey of the Breeders’ Cup in 2003, Solis won 18 riding titles in Southern California. He rode Dare and Go to victory in the 1996 Pacific Classic, ending Hall of Famer Cigar’s streak of 16 consecutive wins. Solis also piloted Got Koko to a win in the 2003 Lady’s Secret Breeders’ Cup Handicap, snapping Hall of Famer Azeri’s 11-race win streak.

Solis won the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 2004 Dubai World Cup aboard Pleasantly Perfect. His other major wins included multiple editions of the Norfolk Stakes, Santa Anita Derby, Florida Derby, Hollywood Derby, and Del Mar Handicap, among others.

After 37 years as a professional, Solis retired in 2017 with 5,035 wins and purse earnings of $238,405,472. He won 326 graded stakes, including 84 Grade 1s.


Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 1986 Preakness Stakes — Snow Chief

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the 2000 Sprint — Kona Gold
Won the 2003 Classic — Pleasantly Perfect 
Won the 2003 Turf — Johar

Other Highlights

Won the Norfolk Stakes — 1985, 1991, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008
Won the Del Mar Handicap — 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Won the Hollywood Derby — 1989, 1999, 2002


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