Martin Garcia came to the United States from Mexico before his 20th birthday with no experience as a jockey.
He settled in Northern California, spending his time making sandwiches and stocking shelves at a shop.
Then he was introduced to horse racing by a friend of a friend. Now he’s a jockey in the Kentucky Derby, a race he placed third in.
Garcia will once again ride the Bob Baffert-trained Dortmund, one of the favorites, in the 140th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 16.
Here’s what you need to know about Garcia:
1. Garcia Won the 2010 Preakness Stakes
In 2010, Garcia rode the Bob Baffert-trained Lookin at Lucky to victory in the 135th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
Garcia stayed lucky with Lookin at Lucky.
Later that year in August, he won the 43rd Haskell Invitational Handicap on the horse.
2. He Won the Breeders Cup Classic in 2014
Garcia rode Bayern to a victory in the Breeders Cup Classic in 2014, but the victory came with some controversy.
Bayern moved to the inside at the start, in front of Shared Belief, the race favorite.
The controversy came when it was questioned whether Garcia and Bayern should have been disqualified for interference. They were not.
3. Garcia Is 5’1″ & a Native of Mexico
Garcia is a native of Mexico and stands 5-foot-1 and weighs in at roughly 105 pounds.
The 30-year-old came to the United States in 2003 and got a job at a deli near San Francisco, California.
The deli owner introduced Garcia to a friend, a former jockey, who got Garcia into racing.
4. He Has Over 1,300 Career Victories
Garcia has 8,415 career starts and has come in first 1,312 times. He also has 1,165 second-place finishes and 1,065 thirds.
So far in 2015, Garcia has 29 wins, 19 seconds and 21 thirds in 161 starts.
5. Garcia Has Earned Nearly $70 Million
For his career, Garcia has earned himself and his bosses $69.5 million in 8,415 starts for an average of $8,264 per start.
His 2015 numbers are better. Garcia has already earned $2.7 million in 161 starts ($17,016 per).
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