Horse

10:07am

Sat May 4, 2013
Sports

A 'Decadent And Depraved' Derby With Hunter S. Thompson

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 4:27 pm

When illustrator Ralph Steadman accepted an assignment with writer Hunter S. Thompson at the Kentucky Derby, he never imagined the weekend that would ensue. Here, Steadman depicts the race's winner, a colt named Dust Commander.
Ralph Steadman

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.

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7:42am

Sat May 4, 2013
Sports

Confessions Of A Kentucky Derby Gate-Crasher

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 11:21 am

Stephen Johnstone and his niece, Sarah, crashed the Kentucky Derby celebration together in 2008.
Courtesy of Stephen Johnstone

On Saturday night, 150,000 people will pack Louisville's Churchill Downs to watch the Kentucky Derby. But only a few will celebrate the victory from the winner's circle.

Stephen Johnstone has experienced that celebration many times. He's been in the winner's circle with the winning families, jockeys and governors — but not once was he invited.

Johnstone is a retired gate-crasher. The first time he crashed the Kentucky Derby was in 1963. Johnstone and several college friends slipped underneath a fence at Churchill Downs.

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1:45pm

Fri May 3, 2013
Code Switch

A Black Jockey At The Kentucky Derby, Once Again

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 4:41 am

Kevin Krigger rides Goldencents during a six-furlong workout at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., in January.
Benoit Photo AP

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.

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9:41am

Fri May 3, 2013
The Two-Way

3 Horses To Know In The Kentucky Derby

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 7:27 am

Goldencents training at Churchill Downs on May 1, 2013. Note: Due to an error in information provided by Getty Images, the original image with this post was of Golden Soul during one of its training sessions. We removed that image at 9:25 a.m. ET on May 5 and replaced it with this photo.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

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:

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2:04pm

Tue April 23, 2013
World

Routine On U.S. Racetracks, Horse Doping Is Banned In Europe

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 6:30 pm

French jockey Olivier Peslier celebrates a win at Longchamps racecourse near Paris in 2012. While many drugs can legally be used on horses in U.S. racing, they are barred in Europe.
Fred Dufour AFP/Getty Images

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.

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