Brian Hernandez Jr. Wins 2024 Kentucky Derby

KY Latino News

LOUISVILLE – In an exciting photo finish, Lafayette, Louisiana native Brian Hernandez Jr. wins the 150th edition of the Run for the Roses aboard Mystik Dan (#3).

In the epic victory, Hernandez held off Sierra Leone and Forever Young by a nose in a three-horse photo finish at Churchill Downs on Saturday. “I was like, ‘Oh man, I hope we won. I hope we won,’” said Hernandez about the late surge from the number 2 horse that had him questioning whether he had won the race. “And then when they hung up our number, it was instant relief.”

Hernandez’s triumph at the derby occurred the day after his commanding win aboard Thorpedo Anna in the 150th Kentucky Oaks, where she led wire-to-wire for the impressive win. This accomplishment marked Hernandez as the first jockey since Hall of Famer Calvin Borel achieved the Derby/Oaks double feat aboard Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to take to sink in. It’s definitely a surreal moment, said Hernandez about his Friday and Saturday victories. “To have the horses pull it off for us, we really have to thank all the guys back in the barn.” Hernandez is only one of just eight jockeys to capture both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby in the same year.

Hernandez comes from a family of horse racing. His father, Brian Hernandez Sr., is a former jockey and his brother Colby and sister, Courtney are Louisiana-based jockeys.

The 38-year-old began riding professionally in 2003 and got his first win on November 29, 2003, at Louisiana’s Delta Downs

In 2004, Hernandez’s talent and skill were recognized as he won an impressive 243 races and was honored with the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. His career continued to soar, with notable wins such as riding Rachel Alexandra to two victories in her first five starts in 2009. On August 18, 2012, he celebrated his 1,000th career win at Ellis Park Race Course, and on his 27th birthday, November 3, 2012, he clinched the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Fort Larned at Santa Anita Park.

Off the track, Hernandez is a family man who enjoys spending time with his wife, Jamie, and their two children. He is actively involved in his local community and often participates in charity events and fundraisers. Hernandez is known for his humble and down-to-earth personality, which has endeared him to fans and supporters.

Jamie Radosevich-Hernandez and Brian Hernandez Jr. with their children, soon after winning the 150th Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. (Credit Jamie Radosevich-Hernandez)

Cover Photo: Brian Hernandez Jr. celebrates winning the 2024 Kentucky Derby (Credit Jamie Radosevich-Hernandez)

© 2024 All Rights Reserved.

Latino News Network