into the New York Sports Hall of Fame
Born: Panama City, Panama
March 26, 1940During his long career as one of New Yorks (and Americas) most successful thoroughbred jockeys, Braulio Baeza accomplished almost everything possible for a jockey to achieve.
At age 21, Baeza rode the first of his three Belmont Stakes winners. He was the nations leading money-winning jockey five times (including four years in a row) and also is one of only four riders to win the Eclipse Award as the nations best jockey more than once.
Baezas first Belmont winner was Sherluck in 1961 and his victory prevented Carry Back (winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness) from accomplishing a Triple Crown win. His second Belmont winner was Chateaugay, a horse which won two of the three Triple Crown races (winning the Kentucky Derby but missing out on the Preakness).
In 1969, Majestic Prince made his bid for Triple Crown laurels but Baeza rode Arts and Letters to victory in the test of champions to thwart him.
In between his second and third Belmont triumphs, Baeza rose to become the dominant jockey in the country. In 1965, he led the nation in money earnings for the first of four straight years when his 1,245 rides produced 270 winners (including 24 stakes) worth $2,582,702. He rode 298 winners in 1,341 mounts the next year and just missed the $3 million plateau in earnings ($2,951,022) but became the first jockey to crack that barrier the next year.
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