Born poor in 1961, in the coastal city of Callao, Peru, Jorge F. Chavez endured a bitterly hard childhood before becoming an inspiring American Dream. At the tender age of 10, after years of child abuse and neglect, he left home seeking a better life. Sadly, Jorge joined the hundreds of thousands of homeless children in the rough streets of Lima, Peru.

At the age of 20 years old, in 1981, he visited Hipodromo de Monterrico (Surco, Peru) with a friend who suggested that he should try to be a jockey due to his small-framed body. After many years of working as a hotwalker, groomer, and galloper, Jorge knew this was where he belonged. By 1986, he became Peru’s leading rider which is a title he would win back-to-back the next year.

In April 1988, Jorge emigrated to the United States where he raced with a great deal of success at Florida race tracks, becoming the leading rider at Calder and Gulfstream. A few years later, Jorge would make his move to New York and began working towards achieving his dream of winning a Kentucky Derby. Through his persistent determination, Jorge became the leading rider on the New York Racing Association (NYRA) circuit from 1994 to 1999.

In 1997, Jorge was awarded the prestigious New York Turf Writers Award (NYTWA) for his extraordinary achievements as a Jockey in that year.  Jorge captured national prominence when he won two of the 1999 Breeders' Cup races, taking both the Distaff and the Sprint. As a result of his stellar year and exemplary career, Jorge won the 1999 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey.

In addition to his storied career as a jockey, Chavez received recognition for his excellent character as well. In 2000, Chavez won the Mike Venezia Award, which honors a jockey who exemplifies extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship.

In 2001, Jorge would reach the pinnacle of his career by winning the 127th Kentucky Derby aboard Monarchos - the second fastest at 1:59.97 time after the great Secretariat - to date, these are the only 2 horses to have won the Derby under 2 minutes.

On December 4, 2011, Jorge suffered a catastrophic injury while riding on the 9th race at Aqueduct. This accident unlike previous ones would become career ending. As always, leading by example to his children and grandchildren, Jorge demonstrates that no matter where you start, with determination and hard work even the most impossible dreams can become a reality. Jorge is truly inspiring; in the world he grew up, he managed to find the light, and made a life better than he ever dreamt.  His sheer perseverance, hope, hard work, and resilience inspires not only his family but his many fans within the horse racing community that know his story.   

As of 2024, 12 years after his retirement, Jorge remains in the Top 50- All Time Leaders for both Winnings and Earnings.