Laffit Pincay Jr.

Laffit Alejandro Pincay Jr. (born December 29, 1946 in Panama City, Panama) was once flat racing's winningest all-time jockey, still holding third place many years after his retirement. He competed primarily in the United States.

Laffit Pincay Jr.
Born (1946-12-29) December 29, 1946 (age 74)
Panama City, Panama
Career wins9,530
Major racing wins
San Bernardino Handicap
(1967, 1968, 1971, 1974, 1979, 1985, 1989)
Santa Anita Derby
(1968, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1985)
Los Angeles Handicap
(1968, 1974, 1975, 1980, 1989, 1997)
Santa Barbara Handicap
(1968, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1993)
Hollywood Gold Cup
(1970, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1985-1986, 2001-2002)
John C. Mabee Handicap (1979)
San Diego Handicap (1976, 1986, 1987, 1992)
Rancho Bernardo Handicap (1976, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2000)
Sorrento Stakes (1976, 1980, 1987, 1989, 1993, 2000)
Eddie Read Handicap (1978, 1984, 1987, 1991)
Bing Crosby Handicap (1976, 1977, 1983)
Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (1990, 1992)
Del Mar Oaks (1983)
Del Mar Handicap (1995, 2001)
Del Mar Derby (1979, 1980, 1982, 1990, 1994)
Del Mar Debutante Stakes (1976, 1982, 1983, 1984)
Del Mar Futurity (1976, 1983, 1985, 1987)
Whitney Handicap (1974)
Florida Derby (1974, 1984)
Blue Grass Stakes (1974, 2001)
Woodward Stakes (1979)
Jockey Club Gold Cup (1979, 1987)
Kentucky Oaks (1981)
Canadian International Stakes(1984)
Princess Stakes (1986)
Longacres Mile (1984, 1986)
Washington, D.C. International (1987, 1990)
American Classics / Breeders' Cup wins:
Belmont Stakes (1982, 1983, 1984)
Kentucky Derby (1984)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile (1985, 1986, 1988)
Breeders' Cup Classic (1986)
Breeders' Cup Distaff (1989, 1990)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (1993)
Racing awards
United States Champion Jockey by earnings
(1970-1974, 1979, 1985)
United States Champion Jockey by wins (1971)
George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (1970)
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey
(1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1985)
Eclipse Special Award (1999)
Big Sport of Turfdom Award (2000)
National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (1975)
Lifesize bust at Santa Anita Park
Hollywood Park annual Laffit Pincay Jr. Award
Pincay Drive (formerly 90th Street) at Prairie Avenue, Inglewood, California (renamed Dec. 2003)
Significant horses
Affirmed, Sham, Is It True, John Henry, Gamely, Desert Vixen, Susan's Girl, Genuine Risk, Bayakoa, Phone Chatter, Caveat, Conquistador Cielo, Perrault, It's in the Air, Swale, Chinook Pass, Cougar II, Autobiography, Capote, Skywalker, Landaluce


Pincay learned to ride by watching his father who was a jockey at many tracks in Panama and Venezuela. He began his riding career in his native Panama and in 1966 prominent horseman Fred W. Hooper and agent Camilo Marin sponsored him to come to the United States and ride under contract. He started his American career at Arlington Park in Chicago and won eight of his first eleven races. Pincay rose to national prominence almost immediately, winning riding titles and major stakes on both coasts. In 1968, he became only the second rider in Hollywood Park history to win six races on a single card. During his career, Pincay was voted the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1970 that honors a rider whose career and personal conduct exemplifies the very best example of participants in the sport of thoroughbred racing. In 1996, he was voted the Mike Venezia Memorial Award for "extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship". He has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey on five occasions and was the United States' leading jockey seven times.

In 1973, Pincay rode Sham, and together they won that year's Santa Anita Derby and placed second in the Wood Memorial behind Angle Light but ahead of their main rival, Secretariat. Sham was considered the best horse in the west, and they were second choice in the Kentucky Derby, once again behind Secretariat. Secretariat won the race, but Sham finished second, just 2/5 of a second behind. In the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, Sham was in striking distance in the stretch before losing to Secretariat by two lengths. In the Belmont, Pincay was instructed to keep Sham close to Secretariat. They traveled down the backstretch together, but Sham was injured and fell back to finish last of five while Secretariat pulled away from the field for a 31-length victory.

Personal lifeEdit

Pincay married his first wife, Linda, in 1967. He and Linda had a daughter, Lisa, and a son, Laffit III. Lisa is the mother to his two grandchildren, Madelyn and Mason.[1] Linda Pincay committed suicide in January 1985.[2] He has a son, Jean Laffit Pincay, with his second wife, Jeanine.[1] Laffit Pincay III is a horse-racing commentator for HRTV and NBC. In October 2007, he was loaned to ESPN to serve as the winner's circle interviewer at the 2007 Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park. He currently resides in Arcadia, CA.

Awards and RecordsEdit

In 2004, Hollywood Park Racetrack announced the creation of the Laffit Pincay Jr. Award to be presented annually on Hollywood Gold Cup Day that features the race he won a record nine times. The award was designed by American sculptor Nina Kaiser and is presented to someone who has served the horse racing industry with integrity, dedication, determination and distinction.

At the time of his retirement (in April 2003), he remained horse racing's winningest jockey, with 9,530 career victories.[3] On December 1, 2006, Russell Baze passed Pincay on the all-time win list, and in February 2018, Brazilian jockey Jorge Ricardo surpassed Baze with career victory 12,843, at Gavea, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

With his 8,834th win, on December 10, 1999 at Hollywood Park Racetrack in California aboard Irish Nip, he broke the career victory record previously held by Bill Shoemaker.

He won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in 1984 aboard Swale. Pincay's win with Swale was his third consecutive Belmont victory, having ridden Conquistador Cielo and Caveat to victory in the previous two years. The four victories in the Triple Crown were the only times Pincay visited the winner's circle in those races but he never won the Preakness Stakes and failed to win another Triple Crown race after he rode Swale.

Pincay was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1975.

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (2000–2002) Peak
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2000 13
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2001 12
National Earnings List for Jockeys 2002 13
Preceded by
Bill Shoemaker
Most Victories in Horseracing
9,530 Wins
Succeeded by
Russell Baze


  1. ^ a b Cain, Madelyn (2009). LAFFIT: Anatomy of a Winner. Affirmed Press. ISBN 0-615-23821-1.
  2. ^ Pincay Jr. biography by Richelle Votaw
  3. ^ "Hall of Fame jockey Pincay retires". The Florida Times-Union. April 30, 2003. Retrieved January 24, 2016.

External linksEdit