USVI Jockey Makes History But DR National Takes The Win

Christmas in August

PHOTO: Kevin Krigger, from St Croix, USVI, looks dejected as he leaves his horse Goldencents after failing to win the 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, May 4, 2013. Photo: JASON SZENES
News Americas, LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, Sat. May 4, 2013: USVI Jockey Kevin Krigger on Saturday made history as only the first black jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby since 1902. But it was fellow Caribbean national, Joel Rosario, who took the win.

Krigger’s hope of a win ended in disappointment at the 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 4, 2013.
The relative unknown jockey rode Goldencents to a 17th-place finish for trainer Doug O’Neill, who won last year with ‘I’ll Have Another.’

The 29-year-old Krigger hails from St. Croix, Virgin Islands, had some success on the smaller Northern California circuit before trying his luck in the big leagues of Los Angeles. He was Jockey of the Year at Emerald Downs in 2005.

The Derby was won by Orb, who was ridden by jockey Rosario. Orb powered to a 2½-length victory Saturday at Churchill Downs, giving trainer Shug McGaughey and Rosario their first Derby win.

Raised on a farm where he regularly rode horses, Joel Rosario attended jockey school for six months. He obtained his professional license at age fourteen and began riding at Hipódromo V Centenario in Santo Domingo where he got his first win in July 2000. He went on to win four Dominican Republic riding titles. In 2006 he emigrated to the United States, where he has been based in California.

In 2007, Rosario won 154 races out of 1,024 with earnings of $3,323,006 In 2008, Rosario won 192 races out of 1,322 with earnings of $7,936,465.

In 2009, Rosario was the leading jockey at Hollywood Park Racetrack for the spring/summer meet, and then earned his second riding title of the year at Del Mar Racetrack. On November 7 he won the most important race of his career at Santa Anita Park when he captured the US$2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint aboard Dancing in Silks. On December 11, 2009, Joel Rosario equaled a Hollywood Park Racetrack record when he won six races on a single race card. Previously, the feat had been achieved by Hall of Fame jockeys Bill Shoemaker (1953, 1970), Laffit Pincay, Jr. (1968), and Kent Desormeaux (1992).

During his breakout year, Rosario won 284 races out of 1,476 mounts with earnings of $13,073,777 and was 5th in the national earnings list. In his first ever Kentucky Derby mount, he rode Make Music For Me, finishing fourth in 2010. On the 30th March 2013, he had won the Dubai World Cup at the Meydan Racecourse, which as it stands is the most valuable race in the world with $10 million of prize money. His mount was Animal Kingdom (horse).

Black Jockeys in History

In 1875, black jockeys accounted for 13 of the 15 riders in the Derby’s first running. They won 15 of the first 28 Derbies.
But by 1903, business began drying up as white owners and trainers relied less and less on them.

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