“I’m Brian Hernandez, Jr., a Thoroughbred jockey who resides in Simpsonville, Kentucky alongside my wife, Jamie and our three kids Joshlyn (6) Benjamin (4) and Anabelle (6months). I’m 34 years old and was born in Lafayette, Louisiana and started riding horses before I can remember around age 3. I rode my first race at the age of 14 at a Louisiana ‘Bush’ track. In 2003, I started my professional career at Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana while I was still finishing High school. In 2004, I moved to the Kentucky horse racing circuit and have resided there ever since.
Some of my career highlights include ..
⁃ Winning the 2004 Eclipse Award for outstanding Apprentice Jockey
⁃ Breeder’s Cup Classic win with Fort Larned in 2012
⁃ Whitney Stakes win on Fort Larned in 2012
⁃ Stephen Foster win on Fort Larned in 2012
⁃ Toyota Bluegrass win on Art Collector 2020
⁃ Louisiana Derby win on Girvin in 2017
⁃ Alcibiades Stakes win on Restless Rider in 2018
⁃ Kentucky Jockey Club win on McCraken in 2016
⁃ Kentucky Jockey Club win on Signalman in 2018
I’m excited to participate in the 2020 Real Rider Cup to raise money for Thoroughbred aftercare. It’s important to me as there are so many retiring racehorses that deserve a soft landing after all they do for us while racing. My wife runs a Thoroughbred rehab and layup operation at our farm, so I get to see first hand the process and time it can take. Finding them safe homes and second careers is definitely a rewarding experience.
I’m grateful to be riding an OTTB named ‘Thatcher Street’ who I was privileged to ride during his racing career for trainer Ian Wilkes and owners Randy and Kathy Bloch, John Seiler, Phil Milner and Fred Merritt. I won two stake races on Thatcher Street at Churchill Downs. The Opening Verse Stakes in 2016 and The River City Handicap in 2016. He was retired in 2018 and is owned now by Kara Lee who galloped him during his race career. They competed in the 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover and placed 5th in the Field Hunter division.