When it comes to the world’s most elite thoroughbred horseraces, sports fans tend to remember the name of the champion horse more than they do the breeder, trainer, or jockey. However, when it comes to the world’s greatest jockeys, few have had more illustrious careers than Dominican Joel Rosario, who clearly conquered the thoroughbred racing, where is not only about the big money in prize purses but also at sportsbooks with a wide range of free offers that can be found in sites such as oddschecker.
With total career earnings at $234,347,638, Rosario’s passion for racing has afforded him one of the sporting world’s most competitive salaries.
Though there’s no word on whether jockeys like Rosario pursue online casino offers, the partnerships between popular sportsbooks and casinos countrywide offer key insight into the major hype and big money surrounding major horse races. But before all the starting gates and glamorous prize purses, each jockey starts out as a horse-lover with a wild dream.
Early Life and Career
Joel Rosario was born on 14 January 1985 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The young athlete knew early on that he wanted to pursue a career in horse riding after a visit to the local racetracks. After that, he enrolled himself at a local jockey school and, with only six months under his belt, turned pro.
At age 21, Rosario’s reputation as the most elite jockey in the Dominican Republic saw him push for more glory in the US. For the next couple of years, in 2006 and 2007, Rosario spent time in Northern California, where he continued his training.
By 2008, the young jockey had found work riding for major trainers and, by 2009, after his performance at the Hollywood Park Racetrack, he established himself in the world of thoroughbred racing. In December of that year, Rosario managed to tie the record for winning six races on a single card, which had only been accomplished four times in the track’s history – the last time in 1992.
The exposure from this race helped catapult Rosario’s professional career beyond the confines of the West Coast. For his races in 2009 alone, Rosario took home $13 million, which placed him fifth worldwide in jockey earnings.
Entering the Big Leagues
From 2010 to 2012, Rosario established himself with impressive winnings by taking races at Del Mar and, once again, at Hollywood Park Racetrack. Following a strong beginning to his career in California, Rosario headed east, where the US’s most prestigious races (such as the Triple Crown races) take place.
In 2013, Rosario established himself as one of the premier jockeys in the world after he won the Dubai World Cup while riding the American Team Valor’s Animal Kingdom. Not only was this a testament to Rosario’s talent, but it also saw the jockey take home $10 million in prize money.
Only months after, Rosario headed back to the US, where he took his first Triple Crown victory at the Kentucky Derby riding Orb. While Rosario continued with Orb through the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, the team wasn’t able to take home a full Triple Crown Champion title for the steed.
However, by 2014 Rosario was back on the Triple Crown track. He took home the Belmont Stakes with Tonalist, then moved on to compete with another champion horse to win three more Grade 1 major races. By the next year, 2015, Rosario had totaled more than 2,000 career wins.
Emphasis on Breeders’ Cups
For three years, Rosario took a break from touring the world to compete in major races. During this time, the jockey instead focused on building his repertoire of major Breeders’ Cup wins.
During this time, he won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, which helped establish him as a dexterous rider. The very next year, Rosario also took home the Breeders’ Cup Mile, which was his fifth career Breeders’ Cup win.
However, his most notorious run at the Breeders’ Cup came in 2017. The Dominican jockey was riding Stormy Liberal, who was considered a longshot by pundits and racing fans. Despite the odds, Rosario and Stormy Liberal took home the Turf Sprint for one of the year’s most exciting racing upsets
Back in the Mix
To this day, Rosario remains a favorite amongst pundits who wager on the Breeders’ Cup. Over the past three years, he’s continued to add accolade after accolade from the annual racing series, including additional wins in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (2018), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (2018), Breeds Cup Classic (2018), and Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (2019).
However, Rosario has yet to make a meaningful impact in the US Triple Crown circuit. His last win came at the Belmont Stakes (his second) in 2019. Since then, the Dominican jockey has participated and won in major races such as the Shoemaker Miles Stakes (2020) and the Pegasus World Cup (2021).
In the course of his career, Rosario has taken home three Triple Crown wins and thirteen Breeders’ Cup wins.
Many horseracing pundits who follow Rosario may be surprised to learn that the jockey’s first race was a disaster. In an interview with BloodHorse, the jockey revealed his first race shook him because he could sense the horse didn’t want to be in the starting gate.
Those who follow the jockey today know him for his patience and intelligence while riding, but Rosario is upfront that he had to develop both skills. What came naturally for the rider was his love of horses and athleticism.
During his time participating in local races throughout Latin America prior to moving to the US, Rosario focused on commitment to not only his skills but to the horses he rode. Today, he’s known for his hand riding technique, in which he’s able to guide his horse without domineering.
It’s clear to anyone who watches Rosario race that the jockey feels totally in tandem with his horse, which is what the core of horse racing is all about.
As of January 2021, Equibase reports Joel Rosario’s total career first-place wins at 3,050, second-place wins at 2,765, and third-place wins at 2,502. His career earnings total $234,810,442, which gives him a net worth between $1 to $5 million.