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USVI jockeys return home with new look this weekend
Published on November 30, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

ST CROIX, USVI -- US Virgin Islands jockeys Kerwin John and Kevin Krigger will have a brand new look when they return to St Croix to ride in the Thanksgiving Races at the Randall "Doc" James Racetrack this Sunday.

During the event, the Department of Tourism will unveil newly branded riding pants and undershirts which Virgin Islands professional jockeys will wear on race tracks across the US in the New Year as they give the equestrian world a glimpse to their home islands.

Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty will also be on hand to present the winning trophy for the Department of Tourism-sponsored Quick Trip Sprint.

"We are proud of our jockeys. They have competed with such distinction this year, and the new USVI attire will no doubt elevate our brand in the marketplace," the commissioner said.

Kevin Krigger and Victor Lebron inked endorsement deals with the territory prior to riding in this year's Kentucky Derby and the territory will continue its support with new sponsorships of veteran riders Kerwin John and Julio Felix who will also wear the promotional gear.

This Sunday's event marks the return of the local racing heroes to the tracks where participants will compete for one the biggest purses of the year.

Kerwin John hasn't ridden on St Croix for two years, and for Kevin Krigger it's been more than three years since he saddled up on the island where he launched his career.

In 2004, Kerwin John made a bid to become the first African American to win a Breeders' Cup race with his mount aboard Island Fashion. Island Fashion faded in the stretch but John had his most successful campaign that year with his mounts earning more than $2 million.

Last May, the US Virgin Islands had a remarkable moment in horse racing history when Victor Lebron and Kevin Krigger rode in the Kentucky Derby. Krigger went on to ride in the Preakness and Lebron continues to enjoy multiple successes at Churchill Downs and other tracks on the Kentucky and Indiana circuits.

Krigger and Lebron started their national riding careers under the watchful eye of Julio Felix who has more than 2,500 victories with a collective purse of almost $27 million.

Julio Felix and Victor Lebron, who are cousins, expect to return to the Randall "Doc" James Racetrack on December 26.
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