Kevin Krigger Could Become The First African-American to Win the Kentucky Derby Since 1902

Kevin Krigger could become the first black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby in over a century.

Twenty-nine year old Kevin Krigger, a native of St. Croix, has already made history. Earlier in the season, the 29-year-old became the first black jockey to win the Santa Anita Derby aboard Goldencents, the thoroughbred he’ll be riding at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

The 110-pound jockey is only the second black jockey to ride in the Derby since 1921, and if when he wins (we’re sending out positive vibes) he will be the first black jockey to earn the trophy at Churchill Downs in more than a century. Jimmy Winkfield won two straight Derbys in 1901 and 1902, and in 2000 Marlon St. Julien became the first black jockey to race in 79 years, reports the Times.

Krigger told the New York Times, “My Derby dream is not, I’m going to be the first African-American to win the Derby since 1902.” “My Derby dream is, I’m going to win the Kentucky Derby. I’m here because I’m a good jockey.”

Photo: BENOIT/NY Daily News

Photo: BENOIT/NY Daily News

Despite his shot at being the first black jockey to win the venerable race in 111 years, Krigger has been reluctant to view himself as anything more than a hardworking jockey.

Krigger, 29, is only the second black jockey to ride in the Derby since 1921,  and if he wins he will be the first black jockey to earn the trophy at Churchill Downs in more than a century. Jimmy Winkfield won two straight Derbys in 1901 and 1902, and in 2000 Marlon St. Julien became the first black jockey to race in 79 years, reports the Times.

The 5’6,” jockey is considered as being one of the tallest in the diminutive sport – fell in love with horses as a child growing up in St. Croix, sneaking out of the house to ride with his sister by age 5.

Kevin and Goldencents will  compete  in the 139th Derby.

 

Source: Sports Illustrated, Clutchmagonline, NY Daily News, New York Times

 

 

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