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Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum
"Home of Aiken's Racing Champions"
Information: 803-642-7631
[email protected]
Located in Hopelands Gardens at 135 Dupree Place (off Whiskey Road) Aiken, SC 29801
2018 Breakfast at the Gallops Special Guest: Chris McCarron, National Hall of Fame Jockey
McCarron began riding as a professional in 1974 and won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey that year. In 1980, he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey and the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.

McCarron won nine Breeders’ Cup races, including five runnings of the Classic. He won the Kentucky Derby in 1987 on Alysheba and on Go for Gin in 1994. He won the Preakness Stakes in 1987 on Alysheba and in 1992 on Pine Bluff. He won the Belmont Stakes in 1987 on Danzig Connection and in 1997 on Touch Gold.

Other major wins for McCarron include the Del Mar Oaks (4), Del Mar Futurity (4), Del Mar Handicap (6), Florida Derby, Jockey Club Gold Cup (2), Arlington Million, Fantasy Stakes (4), Hollywood Gold Cup, Woodward Stakes (2), Santa Anita Handicap (3), Haskell Invitational (2), Santa Anita Derby (4), San Diego Handicap (6), Pacific Classic, Canadian International and Japan Cup.

McCarron rode many of the best horses of his era, including John Henry, Alysheba, Precisionist, Lady’s Secret, Sunday Silence, Paseana, Tiznow, Touch Gold, Go for Gin and Alphabet Soup. 

McCarron led all North American jockeys in earnings in 1980, 1981, 1984 and 1991. He also topped the leaderboard in wins in 1974, 1975 and 1980. 

McCarron retired in 2002 with 7,141 wins and purse earnings of $263, 985,905. He served as technical advisor, racing designer and had an acting role in the 2003 film “Seabiscuit.” He currently instructs aspiring jockeys at the North American Racing Academy, which he founded to help hone the skills of young riders.

Chris McCarron was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1989.

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McCarron on Alysheba winning the 1987 Kentucky Derby. Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs Race Track and Kentucky Derby Museum.
Chris McCarron on Alysheba after winning the 1987 Kentucky Derby.
Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs Race Track and Kentucky Derby Museum.
McCarron on Alysehba after winning the 1987 Kentucky Derby.
McCarron in the winner's circle after winning the 1987 Kentucky Derby on Alysheba.  Churchill Downs Race Track and Kentucky Derby Museum
Go For Gin and jockey Chris McCarron winning the 1994 Kentucky Derby.
Go For Gin and jockey Chris McCarron after winning the 1994 Kentucky Derby.
McCarron winning 1987 Preakness Stakes on Alysheba.
McCarron on Pine Bluff winning the 1992 Preakness Stakes.
Touch Gold (left) wins 1997 Belmont Stakes under a masterful ride from jockey Chris McCarron, denying Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm the Triple Crown. Photo courtesy of BelmontStakes.com.
Touch Gold sneaks past Silver Charm in 1997 Belmont Stakes. Photo courtesy of The Blood-Horse.
McCarron on Tiznow winning the 2000 Breeders Cup Classic.
Chris McCarron on Tiznow, winner  2000 Breeders Cup Classic
John Henry With Jockey Chris McCarron. Courtesy Mark Wyville.
John Henry with Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Chris McCarron. Photo: © 2006 Tammy Siters
Chris McCarron (left) instructs his students on using the Equicizer, a mechanical training horse, at his North American Racing Academy.
Courtesy: Boston Globe Stan Grossfeld November 27, 2013.