2022 Kentucky Derby jockey profile: Corey Lanerie

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

April 30th, 2022

Who is Corey Lanerie?

The shortest path around a racetrack is the inside rail, and few jockeys have capitalized on this advantage as thoroughly as Corey Lanerie.

During a career dating back to 1992, the 47-year-old from Louisiana has won more than 4,800 races and $150 million in purse money. Many factors have played a role in this success, including Lanerie’s willingness to save ground and squeeze through narrow inside openings.

Lanerie’s rail-skimming rides have been a common sight at Churchill Downs, where he’s won more than 1,100 races. Never was Lanerie’s skill more apparent than in the 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1), when he was tasked to ride 33-1 longshot Lookin At Lee. Starting from the often-dreaded rail post, Lanerie allowed Lookin At Lee to fall more than 15 lengths off the pace before rallying unencumbered up the inside to finish clearly second-best.

Lanerie knows Churchill Downs like the back of his hand and will guide Blue Grass S. (G1) runner-up Smile Happy in the 2022 Kentucky Derby, his sixth mount in the coveted Run for the Roses. To aid our handicapping, let’s review Lanerie’s record riding on dirt at Churchill Downs and a handful of other tracks where Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races take place.

All stats from Jan. 1, 2017 through April 24, 2022. Generated by STATSMASTER, Powered by TrackMaster, an Equibase Company.

Lifetime record over 1 1/4 miles on dirt:
Starts Wins Win % ROI %
49 7 14% -37%

Lifetime record stats compiled by Nazrana Dixon.

Lifetime record in the Kentucky Derby:      
Starts Wins Places Shows Win % ITM % ROI %
5 0 1 0 0% 20% -100%

Lanerie at Churchill Downs

Over the last decade, no jockey has enjoyed more success at Churchill Downs than Lanerie, who boasts an impressive 305-for-1,727 (18%) record riding the main track since 2017. He’s been the leading rider at 19 of 29 meets since 2012, and 29 of Lanerie’s 65 career graded stakes wins have come at Churchill.

In terms of race grades, Lanerie’s most important wins have come in the 2020 Derby City Distaff (G1) and the 2015 La Troienne S. (G1). In the latter race, Lanerie executed a flawless ground-saving ride aboard Molly Morgan to upset the wide-rallying favorite Sheer Drama by three-quarters of a length.

But Lanerie’s exploits on the Kentucky Derby and Oaks trails are also worthy of acclaim. He’s won the Iroquois S. (G3) twice, most notably guiding 34-1 longshot Cleburne through a perfect inside trip to upset the 2013 renewal. The Pocahontas S. (G2) has gone Lanerie’s way on three occasions, including when steering Dothraki Queen up the rail to score narrowly in 2015. And in 2021, Lanerie won the Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) aboard Smile Happy.

Lanerie at Fair Grounds

Some of Lanerie’s best stats have been compiled over the Fair Grounds dirt, where he’s won at an 18% clip over the last five years. Lanerie actually ranked among the top 10 jockeys at Fair Grounds during the 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 seasons.

Lanerie also enjoyed a strong year in 2016, just outside our data cutoff, going 3-for-12 (25%) while picking up graded stakes victories in the Rachel Alexandra S. (G2), Lecomte S. (G3), and Mineshaft H. (G3).

Lanerie at Gulfstream Park

Though not typically one of the leading jockeys at Gulfstream, Lanerie’s 14% win rate over the main track is solid, and he’s been known to spring some major upsets through the years. In 2017, he guided stretch-running sprinter Squadron A up the inside to win the Mr. Prospector S. (G3) at 19-1, and Lanerie repeated those tactics aboard Queen Nekia in the 2021 Royal Delta S. (G3), rallying up the rail to produce a 29-1 surprise.

Thanks in no small part to these upset winners, betting all of Lanerie’s dirt mounts at Gulfstream since 2017 would have produced an 8% profit.

Lanerie at Keeneland

Although Lanerie’s 11% win rate over the Keeneland dirt isn’t particularly eye-catching, don’t let this simple number fool you. Through the years, Lanerie has enjoyed rousing success at Keeneland, winning the 2015 fall meet riding title and picking up a bevy of graded stakes wins. He’s won the Ashland S. (G1) three times, including back-to-back editions in 2016-17, plus the 2015 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and a handful of other important events.

Lanerie at Oaklawn Park

Lanerie tends to ride a handful of races at Oaklawn each year, with his biggest win since 2017 coming aboard Hawaakom in the 2018 Oaklawn H. (G2). But Lanerie’s 10% win rate is a bit light compared to some of the other tracks where he rides.

Lanerie at Tampa Bay Downs

Lanerie has only ridden two races over the Tampa main track since 2017, most notably finishing second aboard Willy Boi in the 2021 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore S.

Lanerie at Turfway Park

In 2020, Lanerie made two trips to Turfway with mixed results. He placed in a handful of stakes, but the lone victory from his 1-for-14 (7%) resume came in an allowance optional claimer.