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The Next Black King of the Kentucky Derby – Kevin Krigger

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I am really missing the States right now. Today marks the most exciting sport event in my book, the 139th Run for the Roses, the most exciting 2 minutes in Sports: The Kentucky Derby! I can’t even watch it on TV. (Pole sana for me.)

But I was scanning my Twitter feed and discovered that there was an African-American jockey racing this year: Introducing Mr. Kevin Krigger. (O_0)! I am so intrigued. And it reminded me of an awesome children’s book I read years ago about the last African American jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, Jimmy “Wink” Winkfield. I’m sharing an archive post that reviewed the book. Go out and get it! Ride hard Kevin, win the Triple Crown.

And they are off!

From Urban Science Adventures! ©

Originally published May 2, 2009: 135th Kentucky Derby.

Today marks the 135th Anniversary of the Run for the Roses in Louisville, Kentucky.  I love the Derby.  It is the first race of the Triple Crown races.  Three year colts (and the occasional Philly) compete to win the one and a quarter mile race at Churchill Downs – a truly beautiful track.  It is described as the most exciting two minutes in sports.Though I usually review books on Mondays, I have two books all about horseraces I wanted to introduce you to.  It’s timely.

Title: Behind the Scenes The Racehorse
Author: Nikki Tate
Publisher:  Fitzhenry & Whiteside 

This book explains the domestic history of horses and how humans have harnessed their strength and speed over the ages.  Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses are the preferred breeds for racing.  The book is a great intro book – explaining the various employment roles of people at racetracks, companion and training animals, training facilities, husbandry and horse racing culture.  It also explains how to read a program book. Full of great factoids.

Title: The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby
Author: Crystal Hubbard, Illustrator: Robert McGuire
Publisher: Lee & Low Books Inc.

This book is actually written by a local author (St. Louis, Missouri).  I am hoping to meet her and have her sign this book before I donate it to the children of Clay Elementary School.  Jimmy “Wink” Winkfield was born and raised in rural Kentucky and love to ride horses.  He was a natural.  By the age of 19 he was racing horses professionally, and won his first official race in 1899 at the Harlem Racetrack near Chicago, Illinois.  The following year he raced in the famed Kentucky Derby and placed 3rd.  In 190l, Wink rode His Eminence and won the first race of the Triple Crown; and won again in 1902.  His final Derby race was in 1903. He placed second and that was also the last year an African-American competed in the Kentucky Derby.

Well, now I’m off to find my hat and find a great seat to watch the race!


DNLee About the Author: DNLee is a biologist and she studies animal behavior, mammalogy, and ecology . She uses social media, informal experiential science experiences, and draws from hip hop culture to share science with general audiences, particularly under-served groups. Follow on Twitter @DNLee5.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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  1. 1. tuned 10:58 am 05/5/2013

    The bit and bondages are removed, will the stallions stay and chase each other in circles? Will they not leave and chase the mares everywhere?

    Link to this
  2. 2. N a g n o s t i c 5:56 pm 05/6/2013

    What’s an “experiential science experience” and why should it be informal?
    I suspect hip-hop culture has little use for academics and science, so why offer it recognition?
    I bet you’d get better traction among creationists.

    Link to this

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