Julie Krone, whose 1993 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) win on Colonial Affair broke the Triple Crown gender barrier, came out of retirement long enough to become the first female rider to win The Blood-Horse Sportsman's Challenge. On May 20, as part of the High Hope Steeplechase program, she booted home Glennwood Farm's Seignorial by a wide margin.
"Everything is relative for time and place," Krone said when asked to compare her Belmont and Sportsman's Challenge victories. Krone, the all-time leading female jockey by wins with 3,545, retired April 18, 1999, and was elected to the Hall of Fame last year.
The Sportsman's Challenge raises money for the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and Central Kentucky Riding for the Handicapped. Attendance was estimated at 10,000, and event officials expect the money raised to be higher than last year's $70,000.
Krone followed in the footsteps of her teenage idol, retired jockey Steve Cauthen, who rode in the Challenge last year so his daughters could see their father ride in a race. This time, Krone's father, Don, traveled from Michigan to watch his daughter ride.
Krone's marriage to Daily Racing Form columnist Jay Hovdey is scheduled for next Saturday.