Kevin Krigger Isn’t Horsin’ Around In Regards To The 2013 Kentucky Derby

Fifteen of the first 28 Kentucky Derby's from 1875 – 1902 were won by black jockeys. However, the rise of Jim Crow laws pushed black men off the track, and since then, there have been more black men in the Oval Office than there have been African-American jockey Derby winners. 

Born in St. Croix, the same island nation that produced Spurs seven-footer Tim Duncan, Krigger, who stands 5'6, was blessed with ball-boy size. Krigger is just the second black jockey to compete in the Derby since 1921, and the first since Marlon St. Julien rode Curule to a seventh-place finish in the 2000 Derby.

Black jockeys have been getting slighted for decades, however, 29-year-old jockey Kevin Krigger is hoping to change that dynamic on May 4th at Churchill Downs.

“It’s sad," Krigger told the New York Times about the drought. “But I’m ready to be the first since then. No doubt about it, I’m going to be part of history.”

Krigger rode Goldencents to victory in the April 6 Santa Anita Derby, becoming the first African-American jockey to win that race in its 76-year history. If he wins the May 4 Kentucky Derby, he would become the first black jockey to win the Derby since 1902, when Jimmy Winkfield rode the second of his back-to-back winners, His Eminence and then Alan-a-Dale. “Being African-American is a rarity in horse racing but I don’t feel that’s an excuse,” says Krigger, a father of four. “It’s about working harder and I’m going to work harder than anyone. If African-Americans dominated the sport, I’d be the African-American that works the hardest. I base my success on working hard. If I used that excuse, I’m limiting myself. I have no limits to reach my goals.”



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