Born: Oct. 8, 1986
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
• Brave enough to leave home for America at age 18, Israel Ocampo is a rising star in the Oaklawn jocks room
and returns for his fifth season after another solid meet in 2012. He finished fifth in the standings with 26 wins,
including a victory in the opening day Fifth Season Stakes with Color Me Blue.
• Raised in Mexico City, Ocampo followed his older brother, Isaac (15 years older than Israel) into Quarter Horse
racing at the Hippodromo de las Americas. At age 16, he got his license and started riding competitively,
winning 125 races in a year-and-a-half and setting him on course for New York.
• With little English skills, Ocampo was forced to delay his dreams of becoming a Thoroughbred jockey but gained
work as an exercise rider for John Kimmel and Mark Hennig. While in Florida, he made connections to resume
his career in Chicago and set up shop there in 2007. He won the spring meet title at Hawthorne Race Course
that year. Stints at Canterbury Park in Minnesota helped him gain a foothold with other leading barns in the
Midwest, giving him the ammunition to ride at Oaklawn beginning in 2008.
• His biggest stakes success so far came with Wayzata Bay in the 2008 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows. After
a solid season at Delaware Park in 2010, Ocampo stayed in the Midwest in 2011 and ‘12, riding at Prairie
Meadows and Hawthorne.