Braulio Baeza

Braulio Baeza was born on March 26, 1940, in Panama City, Panama. Both his father and grandfather were jockeys in Panama. Baeza began his career in his native land at age 15 and by won 309 races at the age of 19. The following year, Baeza moved to the United States and quickly became recognized as an elite rider.

Braulio Baeza at Belmont Park, June 1961 (Keeneland Library Morgan Collection/Museum Collection)
Inducted

1976

Born

March 26, 1940, Panama City, Panama

Career

1960-1976

Wins

3,140

Earnings

$36,150,142

Racing Record

18.21

Win %

Biography

Braulio Baeza was born on March 26, 1940, in Panama City, Panama. Both his father and grandfather were jockeys in Panama. Baeza began his career in his native land at age 15 and by won 309 races at the age of 19. The following year, Baeza moved to the United States and quickly became recognized as an elite rider.

The son and grandson of Panamanian jockeys, Braulio Baeza began his career in his native land at age 15 and by won 309 races there at the age of 19. The following year, Baeza moved to the United States and quickly became recognized as an elite rider.

Baeza went to Miami in March of 1960 and worked two horses for Fred Hooper, who offered to make Baeza a contract rider. Baeza won on his first mount at Keeneland that year and went on to be the top money-winning rider in North America from 1965 through 1969. He won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1968 and the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1972 and 1975.

Baeza rode a total of 24 champions during his career, including nine Hall of Famers: Buckpasser, Dr. Fager, Arts and Letters, Susan’s Girl, Ack Ack, Foolish Pleasure, Affectionately, Damascus, and Gallant Bloom.

In 1963, Baeza won the Kentucky Derby aboard Chateaugay, and he won the Belmont in 1961 (Sherluck), 1963 (Chateaugay), and 1969 (Arts and Letters). His 1969 Belmont win deniedwarted Majestic Prince’s bid for the Triple Crown.

In 1972, Baeza was aboard Roberto when he dealt Brigadier Gerard his only career defeat at York Racecourse in England. Other major wins for Baeza included five editions of the Hopeful Stakes and Champagne Stakes; four runnings of the Travers, Woodward, and Saratoga Special; and three renewals of the Blue Grass, Jockey Club Gold Cup, and Suburban. 

Baeza won 3,140 races in the United States and 873 in Panama for a lifetime total of 4,013. He retired during the Saratoga meet in 1976 because making weight became too difficult.

Braulio Baeza was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1976.

Achievements

Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey — 1972, 1975

North America's leading rider in earnings — 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1975

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 1963 Kentucky Derby — Chateaugay
Won the 1961 Belmont Stakes — Sherluck
Won the 1963 Belmont Stakes — Chateaugay
Won the 1969 Belmont Stakes — Arts and Letters 

Other Highlights

Won the Hopeful Stakes — 1964, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1974
Won the Champagne Stakes — 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1975
Won the Saratoga Special Stakes — 1963, 1965, 1967, 1968
Won the Woodward Stakes — 1965, 1966, 1969, 1972
Won the Travers Stakes — 1966, 1969, 1972, 1975
Won the Blue Grass Stakes — 1961, 1963, 1976
Won the Jockey Club Gold Cup — 1965, 1966, 1969
Won the Suburban Handicap — 1967, 1968, 1973

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