Corey S. Nakatani (born October 21, 1970 in Covina, California, United States) is an American Thoroughbred horse racing jockey. He got his big break in 1990 when he rode Itsallgreektome to win big stakes races.
Nakatani currently resides at Belmont Park. On October 8, 2011, he won 6 races in one day including two grade one victories.
As of 2006, Nakatani has won more than 3,000 races including the Kentucky Oaks twice, one time on Lite Light and the other riding Pike Place Dancer, the Canadian International Stakes, the Strub Stakes four times, the Dubai Golden Shaheen, and seven Breeders' Cups, three of which were won consecutively between 1996 and 1998 in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Although he has won seven Breeders' Cups, he has never won the Kentucky Derby in fifteen tries. In 2006, he ranked sixth among United States jockeys with 145 wins on 738 mounts, with earnings of $14,001,900.
Corey Nakatani is married to his second wife, Lisa, and has a daughter, Brittany, and two sons, Matthew, who currently plays football for the University of Louisville, and Austin, from a previous marriage to Michelle Dollase, daughter of trainer Wallace Dollase. His late father Roy Nakatani, a Japanese American, was born in a World War II internment camp and spent time at Santa Anita Park when it was a relocation camp. Corey's mother is Marie Nakatani and he is one of ten children. Corey was a champion high school wrestler who became intrigued by racing after visiting Santa Anita with his father after a wrestling tournament at the age of sixteen. Nakatani eventually approached horse trainer Roger Stein for work. After three days of mucking out stalls and walking horses, he decided he wanted to ride even though he had never been on a horse before. Stein then suggested that he get some experience on a working farm, so he learned the ropes on the Thoroughbred farm of Tony Matos. He then went on and broke and galloped horses for Johnny Longden and Longden’s son, Eric Longden before starting his career as a jockey. He graduated from jockey school in Castaic, California, and won his first race, a dead heat, in Caliente, Mexico in 1988 aboard Blue King. He moved to Southern California in April 1989, and became the leading apprentice jockey that same year. His current residence is New York.
Corey Nakatani won his 3,000th race at Hollywood Park on Memorial Day, May 29, 2006 aboard Shakin N Dancin in the ninth race of the day.
Nakatani has had some excellent horses, including Serena's Song, Rock Hard Ten, Sarafan, Elloluv, Event of the Year, Lava Man, Lite Light, Sandpit, Cara Rafaela, and Relaxed Gesture. He is also the regular rider of seven champions, including Itsallgreektome, Jewel Princess, Lit de Justice, Possibly Perfect, Reraise, Wandesta, and Sweet Catomine.
He is an outstanding golfer who carries a three handicap.
Nakatani's agent is Ron Anderson.