Carmouche to be 1st Black jockey in Kentucky Derby since '13

Kentucky Derby Black Jockeys Horse Racing
Posted at 10:21 AM, Apr 28, 2021

Kendrick Carmouche is the first Black jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby since 2013 and one of just a handful in the past century.

His presence in horse racing's biggest event is a reminder of how Black jockeys have all but disappeared from the sport since the early 20th century.

Black jockeys were aboard 13 of the 15 horses in the first Kentucky Derby in 1875 and won 15 of the first 28 editions of the race.

Carmouche, the son of a jockey, has earned $118 million and won more than 3,400 races since beginning his professional career in 2000.

A combination of Jim Crow laws and segregation in the U.S., intimidation by white riders, and decisions by racing officials, owners, and trainers led to the decline of Black jockeys that have never recovered.

Since 1921, Carmouche joins St. Julien as the only U.S.-born Black jockeys in the Derby.