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.
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 has never recovered.
The $3 million, 1 1/4-mile marquee race for 3-year-old colts is back on the first Saturday of May after being delayed to Labor Day weekend last fall because of the pandemic. About 45,000 spectators are expected at the track.
Bourbonic, Carmouche’s first Kentucky Derby mount, is a long shot to win the garland of roses.
Here’s the Kentucky Derby field, with jockey and odds from the rail out:
1. Known Agenda (Irad Ortiz Jr.), 6-1; 2. Like the King (Drayden Van Dyke), 50-1; 3. Brooklyn Strong (Umberto Rispoli), 50-1; 4. Keepmeinmind (David Cohen), 50-1; 5. Sainthood (Corey Lanerie), 50-1; 6. O Besos (Marcelino Pedroza), 20-1; 7. Mandaloun (Florent Geroux), 15-1; 8. Medina Spirit (John Velazquez), 15-1; 9. Hot Rod Charlie (Flavien Prat), 8-1; 10. Midnight Bourbon (Mike Smith), 20-1; 11. Dynamic One (Jose Ortiz), 20-1; 12. Helium (Julien Leparoux), 50-1; 13. Hidden Stash (Rafael Bejarano), 50-1; 14. Essential Quality (Luis Saez), 2-1; 15. Rock Your World (Joel Rosario), 5-1; 16. King Fury (Brian Hernandez Jr.), 20-1; 17. Highly Motivated (Javier Castellano), 10-1; 18. Super Stock (Ricardo Santana Jr.), 30-1; 19. Soup and Sandwich (Tyler Gaffalione), 30-1; 20. Bourbonic (Kendrick Carmouche), 30-1.
The Derby, which will be televised by NBC, has a post time on Saturday of 6:57 p.m. EDT.