Residence: La Verne, California
Family: Wife Karen, son Christian Michael
and daughter Grace Noel
Unlike a number of jockeys, Gryder's
raise to prominence did not come from a typical racing family,
but rather growing up 15 minutes from Santa Anita Park around
a father and grandparents who were racing fans.
One of racing's most nomadic jockeys, Aaron Gryder has settled in New York in recent years and has become a respected member of the year-round jockey's colony there. In the late 1990s, Gryder decided to settle in New York and was an immediate hit, winning the 1998-`99 Aqueduct inner dirt meet title with 53 victories.
A 30-year-old native of West Covina, California, Gryder earned his first victory riding Ragen Henry in Tijuana, Mexico, in early 1987 and soon establishing himself on the Southern California circuit, winning a riding title at Hollywood Park and the 1987 Matriarch Invitational Stakes (G1) and `88 Beverly Hills Handicap (G1).
Gryder also traveled the Midwest circuit in his early years, winning a riding title at Churchill Downs in 1989, his first meet in Kentucky and first of two titles at the track. In 1994, he left the West Coast in favor of riding full-time in the Midwest. He won three titles at Arlington Park, and in 1995 became the first jockey to win back-to-back titles at the Chicago track since Racing Hall of Fame legend Pat Day accomplished the feat in 1986-‘87.
Between 1998 and 2001, he won four riding titles at Aqueduct, three of them at the inner-track meets. In 1998-’99, he took the title with 53 wins despite missing the last six weeks of the meet due to injuries from a spill. He repeated in the 1999-2000 meet with 94 wins, 32 more than his nearest competitor.
Gryder, whose mounts have included Say
Florida Sandy, Dat You Miz Blue, Seattle Fitz, Songandaprayer,
and Raging Fever, has had three Kentucky Derby (G1).