Joel Rosario, the jockey riding the horse Game Winner in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, is from the Dominican Republic.
Rosario has been riding horses professionally since his teens. Game Winner is one of the horses trained by the legendary Bob Baffert. Game Winner is owned by Gary and Mary West.
Rosario’s horse was considered a favorite to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Joel Rosario’s Career Earnings Total More Than $194 Million
Elite horse racing is very lucrative when you’re as good as Joel Rosario, whose earning are in the millions of dollars. You can see a list of his graded stakes’ wins here.
According to Equibase, the jockey has earned $194,082,266 in more than 14,000 starts over the course of his career. That doesn’t mean that’s his net worth or that he’s taken all of that home; the jockey doesn’t get the full purse, of course. Most earn between $100,000 and $200,000 a year. You can learn more about 2019 Kentucky Derby jockeys here.
He’s earned more than $7 million in 2019 alone, according to the site. He made more than $21 million in 2018 alone, according to Equibase.
2. Joel Rosario Is From the Dominican Republic
Joel Rosario hails from the Dominican Republic. According to America’s Best Racing, Rosario came to the United States in 2006, and he quickly established himself in California as a top rider in that state.
He was raised near Santo Domingo on a farm, the site reports. He attended horse races in that country when he was a teenager, and he decided that he wanted to become a jockey. Before he moved to California, he was the top rider in the Dominican Republic. The family used horses for transportation.
According to America’s Best Racing, Rosario went to jockey school for half a year and turned pro when he was only 14-years-old. In the United States, he established his career in northern California at first. He won the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
3. Joel Rosario Banded Together With Agent Ron Anderson
Some of Joel Rosario’s success derives from his partnership with an agent named Ron Anderson, according to The Paulick Report.
The article indicates that the partnership has propelled Rosario into horse racing’s elite, and a likely spot in the hall of fame.
“At the end of the day, it’s not jockey racing; it’s horse racing,” Anderson told The Paulick Report. “So the agent and the jockey have to get on the right horse. Generally, a jockey can’t make a horse win. It’s a combination of things, and I’ve been lucky enough to have represented the right riders.
4. Joel Rosario Is Married to Wife Briana
Joel Rosario is married. His wife is named Briana, and the couple has a daughter and a son, according to Equibase.
The family makes their home in South Florida and New York, the site reports.
Rosario is known for his humility and attributed his success to the horses, telling USA Today, “I think it’s not me,” he said. “I think it’s the horses. If you have good horses, you’re going to run good.”
5. Rosario Has Been Praised as a ‘Freak’
Joel Rosario is well-regarded in the horse racing world.
“He’s a really talented rider,” Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert told USA Today. “When you throw him on a horse, his IQ goes up 100 points.”
“He’s got the touch of a woman and the strength of a man,” trainer Bob Hess told the Daily Racing Form. “The guy’s awesome.”
“He’s a freak,” Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens said to USA Today, “in a good way.”