Horse Racing

2024 Preakness Stakes Jockeys: How Big Are They?

FanDuel Staff
FanDuel Staff
2024 Preakness Stakes Jockeys: How Big Are They?

The Preakness Stakes is coming up on Saturday, May 18, at Pimlico Race Course.

Some jockeys are familiar with the Triple Crown trail already, like Brian Hernandez, Jr., who rode Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan at Churchill Downs for trainer Kenny McPeek.

Some are new to the Triple Crown: for example, Jaime Torres just won his first career graded-stakes race with Seize the Grey in the Pat Day Mile (G2) for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, and gets his first chance to show his skills in the Triple Crown series.

One thing they all have in common, however, is that they are smaller than most professional athletes in other sports.

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Why Are Horse Racing Jockeys Smaller Than Most Athletes?

For a jockey, it is an advantage to have a smaller frame because a jockey has to be strong enough to control a racehorse running at full speed while still being light enough to make weight in a race.

In the conditions of each horse race, jockeys are assigned a weight. If they weigh less than the assigned weight then they have to add weight in their saddle or vest. However, if they weigh more than the assigned weight, the horse they are riding is at a disadvantage because they are carrying more than the other horses they are running against. Thus, to make a stable living as a professional jockey, a rider has to be light enough to ride at the range of weights commonly assigned to horses: in horse racing terms, to “make weight.”

The weight assignments in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes are straightforward: 126 pounds for colts and geldings, 121 pounds for fillies. All of the horses in the 2024 Preakness Stakes will be carrying 126, as they are all colts. However, between the fact that the assigned weights include some of the riding equipment, as well as the fact that 126 is on the high side compared to other day-in, day-out races, the Preakness Stakes jockeys will all weigh considerably less than 126 pounds.

2024 Preakness Jockeys

These jockeys are entered to ride in the 2024 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. They are ordered by post position. We include their heights and weights if they are reliably and publicly recorded, though not all riders have made that information public.

1MugatuJoe Bravo5’ 2”112 lbs
2Uncle HeavyIrad Ortiz, Jr.5’ 3”112 lbs
3Catching FreedomFlavien Prat5’ 4”115 lbs
4MuthJuan Hernandez5’ 7”114 lbs
5Mystik DanBrian Hernandez, Jr.
6Seize the GreyJaime Torres
7Just SteelJoel Rosario5’ 2”109 lbs
View Full Table

2024 Preakness Stakes Jockey FAQ

These are answers to common questions that people have about jockeys in the Preakness Stakes and in horse racing all year long.

Who is the tallest jockey in the 2024 Preakness Stakes?

Although not all jockeys in the Preakness have their heights publicly listed, the tallest jockey in the second leg of the Triple Crown, based on officially published information, is Juan Hernandez, who is 5 foot 7. He will be riding the favorite in morning-line odds, Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Muth, for trainer Bob Baffert.

Who is the heaviest jockey in the 2024 Preakness Stakes?

Not all jockeys have officially or publicly listed weights, but among those who do, Flavien Prat is the heaviest rider at 115 pounds on his 5 foot 4 frame. He takes the call on Louisiana Derby (G2) winner and Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher Catching Freedom for trainer Brad Cox.

Who is the shortest jockey in the 2024 Preakness Stakes?

Among jockeys with officially-listed heights, Joe Bravo and Joel Rosario are the shortest at just 5 foot 2. Bravo will ride long shot Mugatu for trainer Jeff Engler, while Rosario takes the call on Just Steel for D. Wayne Lukas.

Who is the lightest jockey in the 2024 Preakness Stakes?

Among the riders with officially listed information, Joel Rosario is the lightest rider in the Preakness Stakes, at a listed weight of 109 pounds. Rosario, who rides Arkansas Derby second-place finisher Just Steel, is also the joint-shortest rider based on official information.

How tall are jockeys?

The heights of jockeys vary significantly. Some jockeys can be slightly shorter or taller than this range, but you commonly see jockeys between 4 foot 10 and 5 foot 6. The average height of the riders with published heights in the 2024 Preakness Stakes is 5 foot 3 ½ inches.

How much do jockeys weigh?

Just as with heights, the weights of jockeys varies as well, though all regular jockeys are light enough to make weights not only for the Preakness, but in day-to-day maiden, allowance, and claiming races. Among the jockeys in the Preakness Stakes with published weights, the average is 112 pounds.

How much money do jockeys make?

What jockeys earn varies significantly based on how often they ride and what kinds of races they are riding. A jockey who rides regularly on a big-money circuit like Kentucky or New York will make significantly more than a jockey who rides at a small track or on a fair circuit.

Typically, the jockeys in the Preakness Stakes will be among the top jockeys in the country, and, therefore, among the top-earning jockeys in the country. Most jockeys in the race are fixtures at the top of the sport: they ride regularly at the best tracks with the highest purses, and frequently have mounts in lucrative stakes races.

As of May 14, 2024, these are the top 10 North American jockeys by earnings. Note that five of the nine riders in the Preakness Stakes are on this top-10 list as well: Irad Ortiz, Jr., Flavien Prat, Tyler Gaffalione, Brian Hernandez, Jr., and Juan Hernandez.

1Irad Ortiz, Jr.$10,078,746594$124.0011386
2Flavien Prat$9,715,149299$72.005527
3Tyler Gaffalione$9,711,563584858580
4Brian Hernandez, Jr.$8,115,257287$50.003432
5Jose Ortiz$7,359,3335411106563
6Cristian Torres$6,504,917419$80.005252
7Luis Saez$6,253,393523$77.007577
View Full Table

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