Homeracing

Kentucky Derby Jockey Profile: Kendrick Carmouche

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

April 29th, 2021

Who is Kendrick Carmouche?

The wait is over. Some 21 years after Kendrick Carmouche rode his first race at Delta Downs, the 37-year-old from Louisiana will make his Kentucky Derby (G1) debut aboard Bourbonic, a colt he helped guide from unheralded longshot to graded stakes star.

Carmouche hails from a family of jockeys; father Sylvester Joseph Carmouche Jr. won 1,348 races between 1978 and 2013, and brother Sylvester Carmouche III has picked up 500 winners since 2001. But Kendrick Carmouche has risen to a different level, winning at least 100 races for 20 straight years to arrive at Churchill Downs with more than 3,400 wins and over $118.6 million in earnings.

For many years, Carmouche rode out of the national spotlight at Parx Racing, where he ranked as the leading jockey on seven occasions. But Carmouche barely missed a beat when transitioning his tack to New York in 2015. His win percentage initially dropped, but the tradeoff has been the opportunity to ride better horses in bigger races. No fewer than 25 of Carmouche’s 30 graded stakes wins have been achieved since 2015.

One of Carmouche’s biggest wins came in the 2021 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct, where he somehow convinced 72-1 longshot Bourbonic to produce a heart-pounding finish and prevail by a head. This perfectly timed victory earned Bourbonic a ticket to compete in the coveted Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, where Carmouche will retain the mount and become the first African American jockey to ride in the Run for the Roses since 2013.

Riding the Kentucky Derby conditions of 1 1/4 miles on dirt should be right up Carmouche’s alley, considering he boasts a solid 10-2-2-1 (20%) lifetime resume over the surface and distance. Actually, Carmouche’s record on dirt is solid across the board; his lifetime win percentage on dirt and synthetic tracks stands at 17%, but he’s increased it to 21% this season and will hope to keep his momentum rolling at Churchill Downs.


What are Jockey Kendrick Carmouche's Records related to the Kentucky Derby?

Below are statistics for Carmouche's efforts at racetracks with more than two Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races, plus lifetime data at the 1 1/4-mile distance and Churchill Downs specifically.

Track
Up ArrowDown Arrow
Starts
Up ArrowDown Arrow
Wins
Up ArrowDown Arrow
Places
Up ArrowDown Arrow
Thirds
Up ArrowDown Arrow
Win %
Up ArrowDown Arrow
ITM %
Up ArrowDown Arrow
ROI %
Up ArrowDown Arrow
Earnings
Up ArrowDown Arrow
Aqueduct
1,837
330
321
263
18%
50%
-15%
$18,645,585
Churchill Downs
6
0
1
0
0%
17%
-100%
$17,505
Fair Grounds
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Gulfstream Park
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Keeneland
2
0
1
0
0%
50%
-100%
$14,334
Oaklawn Park
5
0
0
0
0%
0%
-100%
$21,680
Santa Anita
2
1
0
0
50%
50%
50%
$120,000
Tampa Bay Downs
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Turfway Park
3
1
0
1
33%
67%
7%
$72,560

Lifetime record over 1 1/4 miles on dirt:

Starts Wins Places Thirds
10 2 2 1
  Win % ITM % ROI %
  20% 50% -20%

Lifetime record in the Kentucky Derby:

Starts Wins Places Thirds
0 0 0 0
  Win % ITM % ROI %
  0% 0% 0%

Lifetime record stats compiled by Ed DeRosa and are through 2020.

All stats from Jan. 1, 2016 through April 20, 2021. Generated by STATSMASTER, Powered by TrackMaster, an Equibase Company


Let’s break down how Carmouche has performed riding on dirt and synthetic at a handful of major tracks since 2016:

Carmouche at Aqueduct

Without question, Carmouche has enjoyed more success riding at Aqueduct than any other track in recent years. Since 2016, Carmouche has compiled a solid 330-for-1,837 (18%) resume over the Aqueduct dirt, good for earnings in excess of $18.6 million.

Carmouche’s success at Aqueduct hasn’t gone unnoticed. He was a force to reckon with during the 2020-21 season, going 91-for-430 (21%) while forging a productive partnership with seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher. Their teamwork culminated in Bourbonic’s stunning upset in the Wood Memorial.

The Wood Memorial is one of four graded stakes Carmouche nabbed during the 2020-21 season at Aqueduct. He picked up his first Grade 1 win when guiding True Timber to a 5 1/2-length romp in the Cigar Mile H. (G1), and he later added the Toboggan (G3) and Tom Fool (G3) to his growing resume.

Carmouche at Churchill Downs

Carmouche hasn’t had the best luck from limited opportunities riding the Churchill Downs main track. His lone in-the-money finisher from half a dozen rides came aboard Classy Act in a 2017 maiden special weight; favored at 17-10, Classy Act got shut off while attempting to rally up the rail and ultimately settled for second place by a neck.

Carmouche at Keeneland

Speaking of Classy Act, Carmouche gave her a perfect ride in a 2017 maiden special weight at Keeneland, carefully rationing her frontrunning speed through slow fractions. But Classy Act ultimately lost by a nose, leaving Carmouche with a 2-0-1-0 record over the Keeneland main track since 2016.

Carmouche at Oaklawn Park

Carmouche paid a visit to Oaklawn to ride in the 2020 Arkansas Derby (G1) and four other races on the same afternoon, but his mounts were all double-digit longshots, and none finished on the board.

Carmouche at Santa Anita

A single journey to Santa Anita during the last five years produced a significant victory for Carmouche, who perfectly rationed the speed of frontrunning Scuba to win the 1 3/4-mile Marathon (G2) by daylight.

Carmouche at Turfway Park

A day trip to Turfway during the winter of 2020 was well worth the effort for Carmouche, who finished third in the Latonia S. before winning the Rushaway S. aboard front-running Vanzzy.

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