Latin American immigrants have dominated thoroughbred horse racing in recent years, with star jockeys from Mexico, Peru, Panama and more breaking records in earnings and wins. More than half of the jockeys in Saturday's Kentucky Derby are Latino. Watch the race Saturday on NBC - coverage begins at 4p ET.
John Velazquez: Velazquez, the top earning thoroughbred jockey of all time ($301.6 million), has been a star jockey for the past 15 years, raising the prominence of Latinos in the sport. This Puerto Rico native made the hall of fame in 2012. Velazquez has ridden in thirteen editions of the Kentucky Derby and won the 2011 Kentucky Derby.Velasquez will ride aboard Intense Holiday in the upcoming Kentucky Derby.
Jockey Victor Espinoza: Mexico’s Victor Espinoza will ride the number one ranked horse, California Chrome in the Kentucky Derby. 2002 was his big year when he captured both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes with War Emblem.
Joel Rosario: Dominican Republic native Joel Rosario won The 2013 Kentucky Derby aboard Orb. In the same year he also the world's richest horse race - the Dubai World Cup aboard Animal Kingdom. He is currently Ranked #3 of 1,149 Jockeys with $4.77 Million in Earnings in 2014. Rosario will ride General A Rod in the upcoming Kentucky Derby
Javier Castellano: Venezuela native Javier Castellano set the single season earnings record ($25.64 million) last year. Castellano is Ranked #1 of 1,151 Jockeys with $6.06 Million in Earnings in 2014. He will ride aboard We Miss Artie In the 2014 kentucky Derby.
Ricardo Santana Jr.: One of the up-and-coming competitors, 22-year-old Ricardo Santana Jr., from Panama, followed in his father’s footsteps to become a jockey. Santana will ride aboard Tapiture in the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
Irad Ortiz Jr.: This 22-year-old Puerto Rico native is ranked #6 of 1,149 Jockeys. In 2013, Irad solidified his status as a top jockey, riding 223 winners from 1,508 mounts and bolstering his earnings even further, to $14,344,538, fifth in the nation. The Kentucky Derby will be Irad's first time aboard Uncle Sigh. Irad Ortiz Jr. is brother to Jose Ortiz who will also be riding in the Derby.
Jose L. Ortiz: Although native to Trujillo Alto in Puerto Rico, Jose Ortiz along with his brother and fellow jockey, Irad have become New Yorkers. The brothers share a house only minutes away from Belmont Park. Jose is ranked one spot below his brother at #7 and will ride in the Kentuck Derby aboard Samraat.
Luis Saez: A native of Panama, Luis Saez had his first major win in 2009 in his home country. The 21-year old rising star is ranked #8 among the top jockeys and is vocal about his career goal to win the Kentucky Derby. He will compete this year aboard Wildcat Red.
Rafael Bejarano: Bejarano fell in love with horse racing while attending the races in his native Peru. He is Ranked #4 of 1,151 Jockeys with $4.48 Million in Earnings in 2014.
Edgar Prado: The hall of fame jockey is winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby and two time winner of the Belmont Stakes. He is one of 6 jocks with over 6,000 wins. A native of Lima, Peru, he was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.