Saturday, May 07, 2011

Kentucky Derby 2011

Align CenterJockey John Velazquez atop Animal Kingdom

What a day at the Kentucky Derby. Yesterday my horse pick, Uncle Mo, was scratched due to a mysterious stomach ailment. Three days ago the jockey for longshot colt, Animal Kingdom, was injured when another horse he was riding threw him off then kicked him in the face for good measure. The injured jockey suffered a broken nose and was scratched for today's derby.

So with one horse and one jockey scratched, guess who rode Animal Kingdom and won?

The jockey originally slated to ride Uncle Mo, John Velazquez.

"Animal Kingdom, who had never raced on dirt before, reacted to his new rider the way a champion should, charging down the middle of the stretch to win by 2¾-lengths in front of a crowd of 164,858, the largest in Derby history."

This was the 137th Kentucky Derby. Did you know that
early jockeys were negro and/or negro slaves who rode the horses of their slave masters? Some of these pioneers of the sport (negro freemen) did in fact own their horses. In the first Kentucky Derby thirteen of the 14 jockeys were negro. Negro Jockey Isaac Murphy sits at the top of the list of popular horse riders of the day.

Other popular early negro jockeys:

Pike Barnes
Andy Hamilton
Jimmie Winkfield
Willie Simms (first non-English jockey to win a race on an English track)
Johnny Stoval
"Tiny" Williams
the two Clayton brothers
"Soup" Perkins
"Monk" Overton
Linc Jones
Bob Isom
Emanuel Morris
Felix Carr
Jimmie Lee (at Churchill Downs 1907, won all six races on the card)
"Snapper" Garrison was the only white jockey of his time

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