(Edited NYRA release)
Lucas Dupps, jockey, outrider, and a long time employee of the New York Racing Association, died June 4 at Mercy Hospital in Hempstead, N.Y., at the age of 90. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Kristina Dupps, who is an assistant for trainer George Weaver.
Dupps was a teenage bellhop at the famed Brown Hotel in Louisville, where he met many of racing’s biggest stars. Hugh I. Fontaine, who trained 1956 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Needles, gave Dupps his start.
A spill at Rockingham in 1942 left Dupps with five crushed vertebrae and ended his career as a jockey at 258 wins. He became an outrider and “One-Grab Luke” became one of the best. Often, he would snatch a runaway horse by the nose, and it never took more than one grab to get the job done.
In 1972, Dupps turned in his saddle for a seat in New York’s racing office and for the next 20 years, worked at virtually every position: steward, horse identifier, entry clerk, and patrol judge. He retired in 1992 at the age of 73 to become barn agent for his wife’s stable.
There will be a viewing at Krauss Funeral Home, 1097 Hempstead Turnpike, Franklin Square, N.Y., 11010, Sunday, June 7 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.. A memorial service, followed by cremation, will be held at the funeral home on June 8.