John Longden

Proving himself as one of the most durable athletes of the 20th century, Johnny Longden rode until the age of 59, retiring in 1966 with a record 6,032 wins.

Johnny Longden aboard Stymie (Museum Collection)
Inducted

1958

Born

Feb. 14, 1907, Wakefield, England

Died

Feb. 14, 2003, Banning, California

Career

1927-1966

Wins

6,032

Racing Record

18.6

Win %

Biography

Proving himself as one of the most durable athletes of the 20th century, Johnny Longden rode until the age of 59, retiring in 1966 with a record 6,032 wins.

Born in 1907 in England, Longden rode his first winner at a track in Utah in 1927. He was North America’s leading rider in wins in 1938, 1947, and 1948 and topped the standings in earnings in 1943 and 1945.

In 1943, Longden rode Hall of Famer Count Fleet to a sweep of the Triple Crown. He rode several other greats, including Hall of Famers Noor, Busher, Swaps, and Whirlaway, as well as T.V. Lark, Your Host, Real Good Deal, Four-and-Twenty, and On Trust, among others.

At Del Mar in 1956, Longden became the world’s winningest jockey, breaking the record of 4,870 wins by British rider Sir Gordon Richards. Longden’s final ride was a winning one, as he booted George Royal to victory in the 1966 San Juan Capistrano Handicap.

Longden went on to be an accomplished trainer. He saddled Hall of Famer Majestic Prince to victories in the 1969 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, becoming the first jockey to also train a winner of those races. 

Achievements

North America’s leading rider in wins — 1938, 1947, 1948
North America’s leading rider in earnings — 1943, 1945

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 1943 Kentucky Derby — Count Fleet
Won the 1959 Kentucky Derby (as trainer) — Majestic Prince
Won the 1943 Preakness Stakes — Count Fleet
Won the 1959 Preakness Stakes (as trainer) — Majestic Prince
Won the 1943 Belmont Stakes — Count Fleet

Other Highlights

Won the Santa Anita Derby — 1947, 1948, 1950, 1955, 1961
Won the Santa Anita Handicap — 1945, 1950, 1951, 1956

Media

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