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Jose Santos

Jose Santos
Induction Year: 
April 26, 1961
Career Years: 
1984 - 2007
Number of Mounts: 
Number of Winners: 
Winning Percentage: 

Tab Wrapper


    Born on April 26, 1961 in Concepcion, Chile, Jose Santos first raced horses at Club Hipico de Concepcion in his native land, following in the footsteps of his father and three of his seven brothers. He moved to the United States in 1984 and was the top money-winning jockey four years in a row from 1986-1989, winning the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1988.

    Santos had purse earnings of $14,856,214 in 1998, a record at that time. He also led New York riders in number of wins for three years, and he ended Angel Cordero’s streak of 11 consecutive riding titles at Saratoga.

    A winner of seven Breeders’ Cup races, Santos captured his first victory in a Triple Crown race when he piloted Lemon Drop Kid in the 1999 Belmont Stakes. Four years later, Santos captured the first two legs of the Triple Crown when he took the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes aboard Funny Cide.

    Other notable victories for Santos include the Travers Stakes, Florida Derby (2), Kentucky Oaks, Wood Me morial, Carter Handicap (3), Jockey Club Gold Cup (3), Personal Ensign (2), Man o’ War (2), Hollywood Gold Cup, Manhattan Handicap (2), Coaching Club American Oaks (2), Personal ensign (2), Saratoga Special (3), Canadian International Stakes (2), and Hopeful. The most memorable of his seven Breeders’ Cup victories was his 2002 score in the Classic aboard 43-1 shot Volponi.  


    Along with Funny Cide, Lemon Drop Kid and Volponi, Santos rode Manila, Cryptoclearance, Chief Bearhart, Gulch, Meadow Star, Criminal Type, Colonial Affair, and Fleet Indian, among others.

    Santos received the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1999 and retired in 2007 with 4,083 victories and earnings of $187,242,605.    

    Jose Santos was induct ed into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2007.