Photograph By Alessandra Petlin for ESPN The Magazine
Why we chose him: In a profession prone to shortcuts, he takes the long route.
Take it from a pro: "To command a horse traveling 40 mph, you need every muscle in your back, legs, arms and shoulders. Alex is among the best in the world because he trains so hard. He hikes Mount Wilson in the Sierra Madres; he runs laps on the racetrack carrying a 40-pound backpack. You hear about jockeys starving themselves to make weight. Alex does things the right way, the hard way." --Mike Smith, Hall of Fame Jockey