(Photo of Forevamo / Courtesy of www.horseracingnation.com)

Colby J. Hernandez has been around a long time, riding horses in Louisiana.  For his career, he has made nearly 11,000 starts. In his 12 year riding career, he has averaged over 900 wins per year. For all his efforts, the trainers in the deep South have come to respect his ability and his work ethic.

All that time, though, most people throughout the Thoroughbred racing world — outside Cajun Country — know little about this man. When you mention “Hernandez,” most people ask about Brian Joseph, who gets to ride for top trainers and top horses, like McCraken — who nearly won this year’s Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. When you mention “Hernandez,” some people remember think of Rafael Hernandez, who moved his tack from Gulfstream Park and rode well at Woodbine in Canada; or Efrain Hernandez, who rode a couple of mounts at Del Mar this year.

Few people think of Colby J. But right now, he may be at the very top of his game. So much so, that people may start remembering his name. He just may be making a name for himself. 

After Sunday’s racing at The Fair Grounds, Hernandez is the meet’s leading rider — with 15 wins, 14 seconds and 9 thirds in his first 84 rides. He has earned over $418,000 in purses already.

And, he is leading over the more notable group that includes Miguel Mena, Shaun Bridgmohan, Mitchell Murrill, Jose Valdivia Jr., and the likes of Florent Geroux, Joe Bravo, Corey Lanerie and others with a more recognized name and game.

Here is a snapshot of Colby’s statistical history, from www.equibase:

In 2017, he has had 852 starts to date, with 144 wins; 132 seconds and 130 thirds. He has earned a total of $3,346,803 in purses and the average earnings per start is $3,928.

For his career, he has made 10,822 starts, with 1,795 wins, 1,497 seconds and 1,411 thirds, and has earned nearly $35,000,000 in purses. That amounts to an average of $3,229 per start.

His top horses, over his career, include Forevamo, Mr Barracuda, Pacific Pink, Louisiana Glory and Prissy Belle. His top horse this year is Pacific Pink, who has earned $142,300 in her career. She just ran a game second in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Stakes at The Fair Grounds on Saturday, beaten just a length by Brad Cox’s mare Inveniam Viam.

Here is a quick bio on Colby J. Hernandez from www.americasbestracing.net:

Colby Hernandez took out his jockey’s license in 2006 and reached the 1,500-win plateau in 2015. He ranked third among North American jockeys by wins in 2015 with 302, which marked a new career high. Hernandez, who has won at least 100 races in every season since 2007, earned his first career stakes victory in 2008 aboard Mt. Ree Tah. He won the 2015 Jean Lafitte Stakes in 2015 aboard Forevamo, who was a 2016 Kentucky Derby hopeful who finished second in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes. Hernandez has never had a mount in the Kentucky Derby.

1 Colby J. Hernandez 84 15 14 9 $418,450 18% 38 45%
2 Miguel Mena 70 14 9 5 $399,840 20% 28 40%
3 Shaun Bridgmohan 40 11 4 6 $380,805 28% 21 53%
4 Mitchell Murrill 71 10 9 13 $319,240 14% 32 45%
5 Jose Valdivia, Jr. 65 6 10 8 $267,045 9% 24 37%
6 James Graham 43 8 6 4 $252,565 19% 18 42%
7 Florent Geroux 45 7 7 6 $214,430 16% 20 44%
8 Joe Bravo 18 7 2 5 $190,210 39% 14 78%
9 Chantal Sutherland 62 6 7 4 $170,340 10% 17 27%
10 Adam Beschizza 28 8 5 8 $147,870 29% 21 75%
11 Gabriel Saez 46 3 3 3 $143,340 7% 9 20%
12 Marcelino Pedroza 56 4 6 6 $131,480 7% 16 29%
13 Corey J. Lanerie 29 2 5 4 $127,980 7% 11 38%
14 Diego Saenz 4 1 1 2 $126,500 25% 4 100%
15 Jamie Theriot 37 2 3 5 $99,080 5% 10 27%
16 Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 18 3 0 2 $96,185 17% 5 28%
17 Jack Gilligan 26 2 6 3 $89,120 8% 11 42%
18 Robby Albarado 27 2 3 3 $88,130 7% 8 30%
19 Sophie Doyle 41 3 4 4 $81,170 7% 11 27%
20 Aubrie Green 38 4 2 8 $81,000 11% 14 37%
21 Jose Riquelme 21 2 3 2 $56,080 10% 7 33%
22 Francisco C. Torres 23 1 1 2 $28,110 4% 4 17%
23 Christopher A. Emigh 18 1 2 1 $26,930 6% 4 22%
24 Ashley Broussard 8 0 1 1 $26,000 0% 2 25%
25 Gerard Melancon 7 0 0 0 $22,320 0% 0 0%