Jockey Ovie Scurlock

Jockey Ovie Scurlock

Blood-Horse Library

Jockey Ovie D. Scurlock, 97, Dies

Rode in three Kentucky Derbys; rode Coaltown

Ovie Scurlock died June 14 at St. Mary's Medical Center in Evansville, Ind. One of the top riders of his day as well as a trainer, Scurlock was 97.

Born Nov. 11, 1918 in Pikeville, Ky., Scurlock also proudly served his country in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. He attended American Baptist East Church.

He rode in three Kentucky Derbys, finishing 13th aboard Alworth in 1946, and seventh atop Model Cadet in 1949 and Lotowhite in 1950. During his career he rode champion Coaltown for Calumet Farm and trainer H.A. "Ben" Jones four times, winning the Gulfstream Park Handicap and Roger Williams Handicap at Narragansett Park in 1949.

Scurlock piloted Meadow Stable's Bryan G. to victory in the 1951 Pimlico Special.

He rode for other prominent owners George D. Widener, Harry Guggenheim, and Donald Ross' Brandywine Stable.

Later in his career Scurlock was an assistant for Hall of Fame trainer Warren A. "Jimmy" Croll Jr.

He is survived by sisters-in-law, Phyllis Newcomb (Kenneth), Betty Herman (Fred) and Rita Speis, all of Evansville. He was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife of 64 years, Virginia Scurlock, in 2008.

Contributions may be made to American Baptist East Church, 6300 Washington Ave., Evansville, IN 47715.