Index: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Craig Perret


In 1994, Craig Perret was inducted into the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame and then to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, 2006. Learn more

One of the many acclaimed jockeys to emerge from Louisiana in the latter part of the twentieth century, Craig Perret won two Triple Crown races, nearly won a third, and claimed two major awards for jockeys in the 1990s.

Born on February 2, 1951, in New Orleans, Perret was introduced to horses at the age of five. By the time he was seven, Perret was racing quarter horses, and by fifteen he was racing thoroughbreds. In 1967 he was the leading apprentice jockey in the country in terms of earnings.

In the 1987 Belmont Stakes, Craig Perret entered the starting gate at Pimlico aboard Bet Twice, a decided underdog to Alysheba, who had beaten them in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness by a narrow margin. Alysheba was the odds-on favorite to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. However, by the far turn of the one-and-a-half-mile course, Perret urged his mount to open it up, and the big chestnut stallion blew by the leaders and won the race decisively by fourteen lengths. Alysheba finished a distant fourth.

Perret won another leg of the Triple Crown aboard Unbridled in the 1990 Kentucky Derby. He had come very close to winning the Preakness in 1987 on Bet Twice, but lost to Alysheba by a half of a length.

During his thirty-eight year career, Perret finished in the money in 11,921 of his 27,164 starts, producing $113,837,299 in career earnings. His 4,415 wins rank forty-third all-time through 2013 and include victories in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (1984, 1990), the Belmont Stakes (1987), the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (1989), the Kentucky Derby (1990), and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (1996). He also won three Canadian classic races and fifty-four other major stakes races. In 1990 Perret tied the record for most wins during a single season, with fifty-seven.

Perret earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 1990 and the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1996. He was inducted into the Fair Grounds Hall of Fame (1994) and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (2006).

Perret makes his home in Shelbyville, Kentucky, where he runs a modest horse breeding and training operation.

Author: S. Derby Gisclair

Cite this entry

Chicago Manual of Style

Gisclair, S. Derby "Craig Perret." In Encyclopedia of Louisiana, edited by David Johnson. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 2010–. Article published January 27, 2014.

MLA Style

Gisclair, S. Derby "Craig Perret" Encyclopedia of Louisiana. Ed. David Johnson. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 27 Jan 2014. Web. 21 Jul 2018.

Suggested Reading

Carter, John. History of Horse Racing: First Past the Post. Leicester, England: Anness Publishing, 2013.

Gruender, Scott A. Jockey: The Rider’s Life in American Thoroughbred Racing. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2006.

Mitchell, Elizabeth. Three Strides Before the Wire: The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing. New York: Hyperion Books, 2003.

Mooney, Nan. My Racing Heart: The Passionate World of Thoroughbreds and the Track. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003.

Stevens, Gary. The Perfect Ride. New York: Kensington Publishing, 2003.


External Links

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Additional Data

Coverage 1951–
Category Sports/Recreation
Regions Greater New Orleans, Orleans
Time Periods Contemporary Period, Late-20th Century
Index letter P

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