Breeders' Cup trainer and jockey trends since 2017
The Breeders' Cup World Championships will welcome not only the top racehorses from around the world, but the best of the best among trainers and jockeys, some of whom will compete against each other for the first time this season.
From famed Irish conditioner Aidan O'Brien, a six-time winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1), and four-time Breeders Cup Classic (G1) winner Bob Baffert to three-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and European champion jockey Ryan Moore, the biggest names in racing will be represented at Keeneland the first week of November.
Below we look at those trainers and jockeys who have been especially successful over the last five years, as we examine the top connections at the Breeders' Cup since 2017.
Top Breeders' Cup trainers since 2017
|Trainer||Races||Wins||Win %||Return on Investment (ROI)||Earnings|
Since 2017, no trainer has won more Breeders' Cup races than Brad Cox, a Kentucky native who will look to add to his win total in his own backyard.
Of his eight victories at the Breeders' Cup, two have come from 2018 Kentucky Oaks (G1) heroine Monomoy Girl in the Distaff (G1), both in 2018 — when the event was held at Churchill Downs — and 2020, the last time Breeders' Cup was held at Keeneland.
Cox also has wins in the 2019 Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita; the Dirt Mile (G1), Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), and Juvenile (G1) in 2020; and the 2021 Classic at Del Mar. Knicks Go won both the 2020 Dirt Mile and 2021 Classic, and finished second in the 2018 Juvenile at Churchill.
In 2022, Cox is expected to pre-enter four to five horses for the Breeders' Cup, including Haskell S. (G1) hero Cyberknife, who will likely run in the Dirt Mile.
Cox is also the second-leading trainer at Keeneland during the current meet, with seven wins (through Oct. 23), two shy of leading trainer Todd Pletcher.
Second in Breeders' Cup victories since 2017, Chad Brown has been particularly successful in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, with a record-setting five wins (2008, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018). He also owns a record four victories in the Filly & Mare Turf (2012, 2014, 2015, 2018).
Brown won the inaugural Juvenile Fillies Turf with multiple stakes winner Maram at Santa Anita, then won his second Juvenile Fillies Turf at the same track in 2014. He went on a three-win streak in the event from 2016-18 with New Money Honey, multiple Grade 1 champ Rushing Fall, and Irish-bred Newspaperofrecord.
Brown's other Breeders' Cup wins are in the Turf Sprint (G1) in 2014, the Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) in 2015, the Juvenile in 2017, and Juvenile Turf (G1), Mile (G1), and Turf in 2019.
Trainer Peter Miller has a combined five victories from a pair of wins in the Sprint (G1) in 2017 and 2018 with Roy H and a trio of first-place finishes in the Turf Sprint (G1). Miller holds the record for most victories by a trainer in the latter, winning back-to-back editions with Stormy Liberal in 2017 and 2018, then extending his win streak in the event to three with Belvoir Bay in 2019.
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby has also won five Breeders' Cup races since 2017 and six in total for his career.
He is one win shy of tying O'Brien's record of four Juvenile Turf victories and has one win each in the Filly and Mare Turf (Wuheida, 2017), Mile (Space Blues, 2021), and Turf (Yibir, 2021).
Appleby is slated to bring six runners to the 2022 Breeders' Cup, including Rebel's Romance and Nations Pride in the Turf, Creative Force in the Turf Sprint, 2021 Juvenile Turf winner Modern Games in the Mile, Silver Knott in the Juvenile Turf, and Mischief Magic in the Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2).
Top Breeders' Cup jockeys since 2017
|Jockey||Races||Wins||Win %||Return on Investment (ROI)||Earnings|
Irad Ortiz Jr.
Ricardo Santana Jr.
With 12 of his 14 career Breeders' Cup victories coming over the last five years, Irad Ortiz Jr. has become a frequent fixture in the World Championships winner's circle.
His three wins in the Juvenile Turf Sprint (2019, 2020, 2021) are the most by a jockey, and all of them came aboard horses saddled by Wesley Ward.
Ortiz has also twice won the Juvenile Fillies Turf (tied with Javier Castellano [2016, 2017] and Florent Geroux [2015, 2020] for most victories), the Filly and Mare Sprint (tied with Mike Smith [2014, 2016] and Rajiv Maragh [2012, 2013] for most victories), and the Dirt Mile (tied with Castellano [2015, 2018], Rafael Bejarano [2013, 2014], and Joel Rosario [2010, 2020]).
Ortiz's other wins were in the Turf Sprint (2015), Filly & Mare Turf (2015), Sprint (2020), Turf (2019), and Classic (2019).
Happy #SaddleClothSunday featuring 2015 #BreedersCup Filly & Mare Turf Champ Stephanie's Kitten, ridden by Irad Ortiz and owned/bred by @Ramsey_Farm.— Breeders' Cup (@BreedersCup) March 4, 2018
Congrats to the Ramseys on yesterday's win in the #BarbadosGoldCup🇧🇧 and cheers to Irad on victory in the Fountain of Youth! pic.twitter.com/glJndKc7pD
Joel Rosario is two victories away from tying Ortiz for most Breeders' Cup wins since 2017. In total, he has finished first in 13 Breeders' Cup races.
His first win came in 2009 in the Sprint with Dancing in Silks, but his second victory did not come until 2015, when he scored a win with Wavell Avenue in the Filly and Mare Sprint at Keeneland. Rosario's been most successful in the Juvenile Fillies, crossing the wire first with Jaywalk (2018), Vequist (2020), and Echo Zulu (2021).
Tied for the third most victories since 2017, Godolphin rider William Buick has an astounding win percentage, with five victories from 14 Breeders' Cup mounts (35.71%). He won the Juvenile Turf twice, with Line of Duty in 2018 and Modern Games in 2021, the 2017 Filly and Mare Turf with Wuheida, the 2021 Turf with Yibir, and the 2021 Mile with Space Blues.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has just two Breeders' Cup wins since 2017 (tied for eighth most), but his 27 total victories are a Breeders' Cup record.
John Velazquez ranks second all time with 18, followed by Jerry Bailey (15), Ortiz (14) and Frankie Dettori (14), then Joel Rosario and the late Garrett Gomez with 13 apiece.