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2022 Kentucky Derby jockey profile: Florent Geroux

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

April 30th, 2022

Who is Florent Geroux?

Normally, one doesn’t expect to see a standout apprentice jockey from France shift his tack to the United States and carve out a productive career riding elite dirt horses. Yet that’s exactly the path Florent Geroux has taken to achieve renown as one of North America’s leading riders.

The 37-year-old jockey rode his first U.S. race in 2007 and picked up his initial victory the following year. Before long Geroux was winning races left and right, nabbing a large handful of graded stakes on the Illinois circuit before bursting onto the national scene with an upset victory aboard Work All Week in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

Geroux has been on the rise ever since. His mounts earned at least $10 million every year from 2015 through 2021, including a career-best $21.4 million haul in 2018. Nearly 1,900 victories have come Geroux’s way through April 24, including 153 graded wins. He’s been the regular rider of 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner and two-time champion Monomoy Girl, who have combined to contribute 13 of Geroux’s 40 Grade 1 wins.

Many of Geroux’s greatest triumphs have come in two-turn dirt routes. Over the Kentucky Derby (G1) conditions of 1 1/4 miles on dirt, Geroux has compiled an excellent 7-for-33 (21%) resume highlighted by a gate-to-wire victory aboard Gun Runner in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and a 2021 Kentucky Derby triumph aboard Mandaloun. Geroux will seek another career-defining success over 1 1/4 miles when he guides Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Cyberknife in the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

Let’s take a moment to review Geroux’s record (from 2017 onward) riding over any dirt or synthetic track where multiple Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races are contested.

Track
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Starts
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Wins
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Places
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Shows
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Win %
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ITM %
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ROI %
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Earnings
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Aqueduct
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Churchill Downs
1,050
177
160
151
17%
46%
-26%
$16,809,195
Fair Grounds
709
193
141
99
27%
61%
-7%
$8,900,717
Gulfstream Park
20
2
0
4
10%
30%
-68%
$7,635,327
Keeneland
427
84
64
53
20%
47%
-17%
$6,563,425
Oaklawn Park
333
69
57
40
21%
50%
-19%
$8,151,375
Santa Anita
7
0
0
4
0%
57%
-100%
$145,196
Tampa Bay Downs
12
1
3
1
8%
42%
67%
$324,590
Turfway Park
20
4
5
2
20%
55%
-43%
$312,162

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 %
33 7 21% -1%

Lifetime record stats compiled by Nazrana Dixon.

Lifetime record in the Kentucky Derby:      
Starts Wins Places Shows Win % ITM % ROI %
5 1 0 1 0% 40% -100%

Geroux at Churchill Downs

Although Geroux has never won a meet title at Churchill Downs, he’s carved out a solid record over the main track, going 177-for-1,050 (17%) since 2017. Most notably, Geroux has won the Kentucky Oaks (G1) twice aboard Shedaresthedevil (2020) and Monomoy Girl (2018), with the latter filly later carrying Geroux to triumphs in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) and 2020 La Troienne S. (G1) at Churchill Downs.

All told, Geroux has won nine Grade 1 races over Louisville’s legendary dirt oval. All were two-turn routes, demonstrating Geroux’s skill at riding the approximate conditions of the Kentucky Derby. As mentioned previously, Geroux won the 2021 Kentucky Derby aboard Mandaloun via disqualification.

Geroux at Fair Grounds

Among jockeys who have ridden more than 50 races at Fair Grounds since 2017, none have compiled a higher win rate than Geroux, who visits the winner’s circle 27% of the time. The leading jockey by races won at the 2015-16 and 2016-17 meets, Geroux has won a bevy of important stakes over the Fair Grounds main track.

On the Road to the Kentucky Derby alone, Geroux has claimed the Louisiana Derby (G2) aboard Gun Runner (2016) and Wells Bayou (2020) plus three editions of the Risen Star (G2) courtesy of Gun Runner (2016), Mr. Monomoy (2020), and Mandaloun (2021).

Geroux at Gulfstream Park

Although Geroux has gone just 2-for-20 (10%) over the Gulfstream main track since 2017, he saved his two victories for some very big occasions. In 2018, he executed a masterful ride aboard Gun Runner in the Pegasus World Cup (G1), overcoming a tricky outside post draw to win the $16.3 million race by 2 1/2 lengths. Geroux repeated the feat in the 2020 Fountain of Youth S. (G2), gunning Ete Indien out of post 10 to avoid a wide trip and win for fun.

Geroux at Keeneland

Geroux has generally been a force to reckon with at Keeneland, winning the most races of any jockey at the 2018 and 2019 spring meets. Between 2018 and 2020 he won at a 22% clip over the Keeneland main track, highlighted by wins in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Distaff and 2018 Ashland (G1) aboard two-time champion Monomoy Girl.

Geroux’s momentum has slowed down a bit over the past couple of years, and his record at the 2022 Keeneland spring meet stands at just 3-for-26 (12%) through April 24. But one of those wins came aboard Tawny Port in the Lexington S. (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Geroux at Oaklawn Park

Geroux’s 69-for-333 (21%) record at Oaklawn since 2017 is solid, with 60 of those victories coming since Geroux shifted his tack to Oaklawn on a more regular basis in 2021. He’s won a bevy of graded stakes at Oaklawn over the past two years, including the 2022 Arkansas Derby aboard Cyberknife and the 2022 Fantasy S. (G3) aboard Kentucky Oaks contender Yuugiri.

Geroux at Santa Anita

Although Geroux hasn’t won a dirt race from seven mounts at Santa Anita over the last five years, he’s finished in the money 57% of the time. Going back further in time, Geroux won the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita aboard Work All Week, which gave Geroux the first Grade 1 win of his career.

Geroux at Tampa Bay Downs

Geroux’s infrequent forays to ride at Tampa Bay Downs peaked with a productive day in 2018, when he sprang a pace-tracking 19-1 upset aboard Quip in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). For good measure, Geroux came back to execute a beautiful ground-saving ride aboard Sole Volante in the 2020 Tampa Bay Derby, finishing second.

Geroux at Turfway Park

Geroux’s 4-for-20 (20%) record at Turfway since 2016 is rock-solid, though it doesn’t quite tell the full story. All four of those victories came in 2021, specifically on March 27, when Geroux made a day trip to Turfway and went 4-for-11 (36%). It was a lucrative afternoon, as Geroux walked away with victories in the Bourbonette Oaks and Latonia S. to his credit.

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