Florent Geroux Profile
|Born||Jul 16, 1986|
French star overcame two fractured vertebrae early in his career to become a leading jockey in the US.
Florent Geroux is a leading American Thoroughbred horse racing jockey, with the French rider having secured more than 1,750 victories and 1,500 second-place finishes during an impressive career. This is despite suffering a major injury, which he overcame by returning to American racing in glorious fashion.
Florent Geroux's early life
Born in 1986 in Argentan, France, Florent Geroux came from a family deeply immersed in the world of horse racing. Geroux's father was a jockey and trainer in France, which propelled Geroux to attend the French riding academy, Afasec, at the age of 13.
Geroux's first rides took place in his home country, where he became a top apprentice. His first win came on May 6, 2004, at Longchamp.
It was in early 2007 when Geroux first arrived in the United States and he paired up with trainer Patrick Biancone. However, initial stint in the US did not last long and he returned to France within a few months.
Geroux travelled back to the United States later that year with the aim of joining the Kentucky racing circuit. On opening day at Keeneland, his career took a drastic turn when he suffered serious injuries. A fall resulted in a broken wrist and two fractured vertebrae, which forced him to return to France again to recover.
After several months of recuperation, Geroux returned to the United States and settled in Chicago. He went on to enjoy modest success and was ranked 10th in the 2010 Arlington jockey standings. His first stakes victory came in the Leemat Stakes at Presque Isle Downs in 2010 aboard Zoeling.
Geroux worked his way up as a jockey and a breakthrough came in 2014 when the rider took his first Grade 1 victory on board Work All Week in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Geroux moved to Kentucky in 2015, finally achieving his goal of making it on to the Kentucky racing circuit. He became the leading rider at Kentucky Downs and Fair Grounds during the 2015-16 meet. Some of his major victories during that time included the Arlington Million aboard The Pizza Man and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf aboard Catch a Glimpse. He also landed the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint with Mongolian Saturday.
Geroux's best year came in 2016, when he scored an impressive 217 wins and brought in an incredible $17.7million in earnings. He took two Grade 1 victories aboard I'm a Chatterbox (The Delaware Handicap and the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes) as well as winning the Louisiana Derby with Gun Runner. That year also saw Geroux guide Gun Runner to a third-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, a runner-up finish in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and victory in the Clark Handicap.
That same year, Geroux impressed the crowds on Arlington Million Day by winning four graded races - the Beverly D., Secretariat, American St. Leger and Pucker Up Stakes. He also registered his 1,000th North American win in 2016 with a December 29 victory at Fair Grounds with Mr. Misunderstood.
Geroux was ranked as one of the top 10 North American jockeys in 2017 after taking the Breeders' Cup Classic, four graded stakes races, and finishing runner-up at the Dubai World Cup.
The jockey kicked off his 2018 season with a big win in the $16million Pegasus World Cup aboard Gun Runner. His 2018 campaign was another one of his best, with Geroux also sweeping the Grade 1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes and Longines Kentucky Oaks with Monomoy Girl. He was also aboard the filly when winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs. This contributed to his highest-earning year, when he netted $21.5million.
Over the last two years, Geroux has still been ranked as one of the top jockeys in the US. He took third in the 2019 Preakness Stakes aboard Owendale and graded stakes wins with Mr. Misunderstood. Monomoy Girl, who missed the 2019 season, was guided by Geroux in 2020 to win the Grade 2 Ruffian Stakes and Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes.
Geroux took his second Kentucky Oaks win aboard Shedaresthedevil in 2020. He was also victorious in the Juvenile Fillies Turf aboard Aunt Pearl and the Longines Distaff aboard Monomoy Girl.
In the 2021 Kentucky Derby, he guided Mandaloun to second place, narrowly being beaten by Medina Spirit.
Major racing victories
Florent Geroux has scored many impressive victories over the years, with his most prominent including the Stars and Stripes Stakes (2014 and 2015), the Arlington Million (2015), the Louisiana Derby (2016 and 2020), the United Nations Stakes (2016), the Ogden Phipps Stakes (2016), the Belmont Oaks (2016), the Beverly D. Stakes (2016), the Secretariat Stakes (2016), the Spinster Stakes (2016), the Delaware Handicap (2016), the Edgewood Stakes (2016), the Clark Handicap (2016), the La Troienne Stakes (2017 and 2020), the Stephen Foster Handicap (2017), the Whitney Stakes (2017), the Woodward Stakes (2017), the Pegasus World Cup (2018), the Ashland Stakes (2018), the Kentucky Oaks (2018 and 2020) and the Lexington Stakes (2019).
Many of Geroux's top performances have come in Breeders' Cup events, with the jockey's victories including the Sprint (2014), the Juvenile Fillies Turf (2015 and 2020), the Turf Sprint (2015), the Classic (2017) and the Distaff (2018 and 2020).
Florent Geroux's horses
Since he started out in American Thoroughbred racing, Geroux has consistently been the rider for top names. Some of his most notable horses include Gun Runner, The Pizza Man, Work All Week, Monomoy Girl, Catch A Glimpse, I'm a Chatterbox and Mongolian Saturday.
Out of those names, Gun Runner stands out the most, having been named 2017 American Horse of the Year. He also secured four Grade 1 events as a four-year-old and retired with around $16million in earnings. His three-year-old season saw him win the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby to become an early favourite for the Kentucky Derby, where he finished third. He also took the Matt Winn Stakes and Clark Handicap that year.
Monomoy Girl is Geroux's other highlight horse. She became the American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 2018 and she won her first three outings of 2017. One of her biggest career victories was the Kentucky Oaks in 2018 when she was partnered by Geroux.