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Harlem to Celebrate Kentucky Derby, First Black Jockey in 12 Years
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30 Apr 2013 12:38 PM EST

-by Anthony Bell, Contributing Writer; Image: Outside of Settepani (Image Source: Settepani.com)

A Harlem restaurant is gearing up to throw their first annual Kentucky Derby party to mark the return of a black jockey to the race.

Kevin Krigger will become the first black jockey to compete in the Kentucky Derby this Saturday, May 4, becoming the first since 2000, and for Settepani at 196 Lenox Avenue, this is cause to celebrate.

The New York City restaurant will hold the 139th Run for the Roses: Harlem’s 1st Annual Kentucky Derby Party in the middle of Harlem, complete with mint juleps and large hats to celebrate the two-minute race.

“Historically, there have been many African-American jockeys, and their contributions have never really been recognized,” Leah Abraham, restaurant owner, told DNAinfo.com. “We wanted to do something honoring them.”

Throughout the Derby’s early days, many winning jockeys were African-American, and on the first race in 1875, 13 of the 15 jockeys were black. As time went on, however, the number decreased. If Krigger wins, he will be the first black jockey to take the title since 1902.

Abraham will be serving up mint juleps with a large screen broadcasting the race from Louisville. Contests for best hat will be held, and prizes will also be handed out for those who guess the winning horse.

“We really want to create that clubhouse feel,” she said.

Harlem’s 1st Annual Kentucky Derby Party” will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. at Settepani, and admission is free.

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