Brian Hernandez Jr. became the 14th jockey in Churchill Downs history to ride 500 winners at the home of the Kentucky Derby when the 32-year-old won the seventh race on Thanksgiving Day aboard Rock Shandy for trainer Jordan Blair.
“It’s great to have my family here with me for this,” Hernandez Jr. said. “I’m thankful for all of the trainers and owners who have supported me throughout my career so far.”
Hernandez Jr., who began riding professionally in 2003, won his first race at Churchill Downs aboard Machine to Tower on May 27, 2004. Overall, the native of Lafayette, La. has won 1,729 races and his mounts have amassed more than $63.8 million from 12,629 starts during a 15-year riding career.
He won the Eclipse Award in 2004 as the nation’s champion apprentice jockey. In 2012, Hernandez Jr. won the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita aboard Fort Larned for his biggest career win.