Ricardo Santana Jr.

Primary Tracks: Keeneland, Saratoga, Oaklawn Park, Churchill Downs


Ricardo Santana Jr. is a Panamanian jockey who learned to ride at the famous Laffit Pincay Jockey School. Santana came to the United States in 2009 and began his riding career earning his first win in September of that year.


Santana found a home at Oaklawn Park where he ran off 6 consecutive riding titles. Many of these titles were in large part due to his tight relationship with Steve Asmussen who gives Ricardo first call on the mounts in his barn which means he often rides the top stock on the Oaklawn back side.


In 2016 Santana broke through the grade 1 ranks winning the Arkansas Derby aboard Creator. Since then he has captured several top stakes races across the country including 5 ins in the Count Fleet Sprint. In 2019 he earned his first Breeder’s Cup victory riding Mitole to a victory in the BC Sprint.



Santana has been an up and coming jockey in America since his arrival at Oaklawn Park, but has since started to cement himself in the upper tier of jockeys in the United States. He has won at least 1 stakes race in every year since 2010 and won at least 10 graded stakes races in 2018, 2019, and 2020.


His marquee victories include the Count Fleet Sprint, the Arkansas Derby, The Apple Blossom, and the La Troienne. In 2019 he also won the Prince of Wales as part of the Candaian Triple Crown series and has a victory in the prestigious Breeder’s Cup.


Top Riders/Trainers: Steven Asmussen, Michael Maker, Todd Pletcher, Wayne Catalano, Rudy Rodriguez


Top 5 Career Horses in Earnings: Mitole, Whitmore, Silver State, Mia Mischief, She's a Julie