Two internationally known jockeys, Steve Cauthen and Chris McCarron, will help open an exhibit at the Lexington History Museum as a part of the "Best of the Bluegrass" celebration leading up to the 2006 Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. Moderated by Ed Bowen, president of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, a program discussing the role of jockeys with strong ties to the Bluegrass is set for 7:30 p.m. (EST) April 10th. The formal opening of the new exhibit, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., features a dozen jockeys whose roots are tied to the region, from early African American riders to Eddie Arcaro and up to Cauthen.Born in Covington, Ky., Cauthen was the youngest jockey to win the Triple Crown and rode his first winner at age 16 in 1976. The next year, he became the record-setting "$6 million dollar man" with 487 winners and then rode Affirmed to win the three Triple Crown races in 1978. In England in 1979, he became the first American to win the British jockeys' championship in more than 70 years. After amassing Kentucky, English, and French Derby triumphs, he won the group I Irish Derby in 1989 to become first jockey to capture all four major international Thoroughbred races.
Although Chris McCarron grew up in Massachusetts and began riding in 1974 in Maryland, he has strong Kentucky ties and now lives in the Bluegrass, where he is pursuing the establishment of a training program for jockeys. McCarron was the regular rider for both John Henry and Alysheba during the years they set earnings records. Major races won by McCarron include two Kentucky Derbys (gr. I) with Alysheba and Go for Gin; three Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) races aboard Alysheba, Sunday Silence, and Alphabet Soup; and two Preakness Stakes (gr. I) victories. In 1994, he posted his 6,000th win while riding at Hollywood Park. He has been the nation's leading jockey on six occasions, won two Eclipse Awards, and won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Details on the Museum program are available at www.LexingtonHistoryMuseum.org and on other Best of the Bluegrass programs at www.bestofthebluegrass.org.