In the spring of 1970, a British illustrator named Ralph Steadman had just moved to America, hoping to find some work. His first call came from a small literary journal called Scanlan's. It was looking for a cartoonist to send to the Kentucky Derby. Steadman had heard of neither the race nor the writer he was to accompany, a fellow named Hunter S. Thompson.
Steadman hadn't read any of Thompson's work, and he certainly didn't know that the writer had a bit of a drinking tendency, but he agreed to go.
The Kentucky Derby's 139th running is this weekend, and it will feature a sight that's been a rarity in the race for much of the past century — an African-American jockey.
"Everything that comes with the Derby right now for me is not the same as the majority of the other riders, or any other riders, because I'm the only African-American rider in the race," Kevin Krigger says.
Krigger was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but he's been racing in California. He's the first African-American jockey to ride in the Derby in more than a decade.
This is a post for everyone (like us) who tunes into horse racing just once a year, on the first Saturday in May when the Kentucky Derby is run. Here are three horses that those who pay much closer attention say you should know about:
At the famous Hippodrome de Longchamp just outside of Paris this month, crowds came to cheer and bet on the sleek thoroughbreds that opened horse racing season by galloping down the verdant turf course.
Horse racing in Europe is different from the sport in the U.S., from the shape and surface of the track to race distances and the season itself. Another big difference is doping.