Angel Cordero, Jr.

A fierce competitor and one of the most popular figures in the history of thoroughbred racing, Angel Cordero, Jr. won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1982, 1983, and 1985.

Angel Cordero, Jr. at Santa Anita Park, March 1979 (Bill Mochon/Museum Collection)
Inducted

1988

Born

Nov. 8, 1942, Santruce, Puerto Rico

Career

1960-1995

Wins

7,057

Earnings

$164,570,627

Racing Record

18.25

Win %

Biography

A fierce competitor and one of the most popular figures in the history of thoroughbred racing, Angel Cordero, Jr. won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1982, 1983, and 1985.

A winner of six Triple Crown races — including three editions of the Kentucky Derby — Cordero came to the United States from his native Puerto Rico in 1962, and after early struggles went on to become North America’s leading rider in earnings three times (1976, 1982, 1983) and finished his career with 7,057 wins. He led all North American riders in wins in 1968.

Cordero won the Kentucky Derby with Cannonade (1974), Bold Forbes (1976), and Spend a Buck (1985); the Preakness with Codex (1980) and Gate Dancer (1984); and the Belmont with Bold Forbes (1976). He won four Breeders’ Cup races and was tremendously successful at Saratoga, where he won 14 riding titles and became known as the “King of Saratoga.”

Major races won by Cordero include eight runnings of the Personal Ensign; six editions of the Woodward Stakes, Matron Stakes, Go for Wand, and Vosburgh; five each in the Spinaway, Suburban, Bernard Baruch, Demoiselle, and Discovery; four renewals of the Wood Memorial, Manm o' War, Delaware Handicap, Forego, Gazelle, Jerome, and Sanford; and three each in the Alabama, Sword Dancer, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Coaching Club American Oaks, Beldame, Prioress, and Test. 

Cordero rode numerous standouts during his career, including Hall of Fame members Seattle Slew, Waya, Slew o’ Gold, Manila, and Open Mind. After retiring from the saddle with more than $164 million in purse earnings, Cordero spent some time as a trainer and later became the agent for Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.

Achievements

Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey — 1982, 1983, 1985

North America's leading rider in earnings — 1976, 1982, 1983
North America's leading rider in wins — 1968

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 1976 Kentucky Derby — Bold Forbes
Won the 1985 Kentucky Derby — Spend a Buck
Won the 1980 Preakness Stakes — Codex
Won the 1984 Preakness Stakes — Gate Dancer
Won the 1976 Belmont Stakes — Bold Forbes

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the 1985 Distaff — Life's Magic
Won the 1988 Juvenile Fillies — Open Mind
Won the 1988 Sprint — Gulch
Won the 1989 Sprint — Dancing Spree

Media

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