HALL OF FAME JOCKEY JULIE KRONE

Host & Instructor of Junior Jockey Camp

During her ground-breaking career as the most decorated female jockey of all time, Julie Krone won 3,705 races: more than any woman in the history of racing, and more than most men! She rode continuously from 1989 to 1999, accumulating the majority of her wins and titles in those years, but in the years that followed, she continued to shatter records when she came out of retirement several times to reconnect with her fans that had so loyally cheered her on over the years. Her last appearance riding was in 2011 and 2012, for the Ledger Legends Charity Race in Doncaster, England.

 

Krone was the first woman to win riding championships and meet titles at the most competitive race tracks in America, including Belmont Park in New York, Gulfstream Park in Miami, and on the New Jersey circuit at Monmouth Park, Atlantic City and the Meadowlands. She also holds titles in California, at Del Mar, Santa Anita, and Hollywood Park race tracks. This list of U.S. achievements includes astonishing six-winner days at The Meadowlands (twice) and Monmouth Park, as well as a five-winner day at the prestigious Saratoga summer meeting in New York, and the autumn meet at Santa Anita Park in California. 

 

In the international arena, she has competed in Hong Kong, Sweden, England and Japan, where she became the first woman to ride at and win a race at Tokyo Race Course. In the words of Bob Baffert, Hall of Fame trainer and winner of two Triple Crown series, "She can talk to horses like few I've seen." 

           

Krone's first farewell to riding came on April 18, 1999, at Lone Star Park near Dallas, Texas. She was 35 at the time, with more than 20,000 races to her credit and upwards of $81 million career earnings for the owners of the horses she rode. On that bittersweet day in Texas she won three races, an occasion made all the more special by the presence of her mother, Judi Krone, who had taught her daughter how to ride.           

 

That same year, Julie Krone was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas, joining such American icons as Sandra Day O'Connor, Annie Oakley, Dale Evans and Patsy Cline. This honor added to a record that already was unprecedented among women competing on a level playing field with men, and within the still heavily male dominated sport of racing.

 

In 1993, she became the first woman to win a coveted Triple Crown event when she rode the 3-year-old colt Colonial Affair to victory in the Belmont Stakes. Krone was honored that year by the Women’s Sports Foundation as the Individual Sportswoman of the Year. She also was chosen by the ESPN television network as their 1993 Professional Female Athlete of the Year.

 

Krone made history again on Aug. 7, 2000, at the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., when she became the first woman to be inducted into the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame. Her name stands alongside such riding greats as Laffit Pincay, Bill Shoemaker, Angel Cordero, and her childhood idol, Steve Cauthen.

 

With her vibrant personality and superstar status, it is no surprise that Krone has transcended the world of horse racing. She has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine and became a familiar face on such television programs as The Tonight Show with David LettermanThe Late Show with Stephen ColbertThe Today Show and Good Morning America. David Letterman has referred to Krone as, “my favorite jockey.”

 

During a break from competition, Krone moved to California from her East Coast roots to work as a commentator and analyst for the TVG racing network and the Hollywood Park simulcast network. She has also served as a commercial spokesperson for Gulfstream Park Racetrack in Florida, and was a part of the award-winning radio broadcast of the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Championship at Churchill Downs, in Kentucky.

 

In the spring of 2003, Krone was badly injured when she was thrown at the start of a race at Santa Anita Park. She suffered three compressed vertebrae in mid-spine, two fractures in her lower back, as well as muscle and ligament damage. However, she returned to action four months later, proving her merit as an unstoppable force, at the subsequent Del Mar meet that same year, leading all riders in purse winnings while taking the top prize of the summer season, in the $1 million Pacific Classic, riding the Argentine star, Candy Ride.

           

But the highlight of her 2003 comeback occurred on Oct. 25, at Santa Anita Park when Krone became the first woman to win a Breeders' Cup race (a nationally televised championship race that draws contestants from all of the world), riding favored contestant, Halfbridled to victory in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies.

 

That same year, she was named by USA Today as one of the 10 Toughest Athletes; a list that includes Lance Armstrong, Shaquille O'Neal and Tiger Woods. Krone was also honored with the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award by the Women's Sports Foundation.

"My mom was suffering from cancer at the time, and I retired then to spend more time with her," Krone said. "Her being there on that day at Lone Star meant the world to me."

Fast Facts: Major Milestones
  • Only woman to win a Triple Crown race (1993 Belmont Stakes).

  • First woman to win a Breeders' Cup race (2003 Juvenile Fillies).

  • First woman to win a million-dollar race (2003 Pacific Classic)

  • Won six races in one day at Monmouth Park and Meadowlands (twice).

  • Won five winners in one day at Saratoga and Santa Anita Park.

  • Champion jockey in wins at Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park, Monmouth Park, Atlantic City and the Meadowlands.

  • Leading  jockey in earnings at Del Mar and Hollywood Park (fall meet).

Fast Facts: Hall of Fame Inductions
  • Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame

  • National Women’s Hall of Fame

  • National Cowgirl Hall of Fame

  • Michigan Sports Hall of Fame

In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y., where such notables as Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella Fitzgerald, and Georgia O’Keefe are also enshrined. In 2016, Krone was honored with the Amelia Earhart Pioneering Achievement Award, joining a list of adventurous women who have made history in a variety of disciplines

 

Krone married respected Daily Racing Form columnist and author, Jay Hovdey in May of 2001. She gave birth to their daughter, Lorelei Judith Krone, on Sept. 27, 2005. She remains active in the Thoroughbred racing industry, sharing her love of horses through motivational speeches, guest appearances, clinics, private tutoring, and an advisory role with the REINS therapeutic riding program for children and adults with disabilities. 

She is also the author of Riding for My Life, where she shares her many tales of both struggle and victory that she experienced in order to become the greatest female jockey the world has ever seen. 

In 2019, Krone, working in association with former top jockey and creator of the Equicizer, the world's #1 mechanical horse, Frank Lavato Jr., and Long Shadows Charitable Foundation, she founded Julie Krone Jockey Camp with a vision to make racing more accessible to our youth. What she has created is a program that not only gives students an opportunity to meet and listen to famous guest lecturers and instructors from within the sport of racing, but familiarizes participants with the various roles and responsibilities within the industry, and gives them an idea of what it takes to have a successful career in the exciting sport of Thoroughbred racing. 

Fast Facts: Highlights and History
  • *Born July 24, 1963, Eau Claire, Michigan

  • *Mother, Judi Krone, award-winning dressage rider and all-around horse trainer

  • *Father, Don Krone, high school teacher in art and photography

  • *Brother, Donnie Krone, thoroughbred trainer

  • *First mount, Tiny Star, Jan. 30, 1981, Tampa Bay Downs

  • *First winner, Lord Farkle, Feb. 12, 1981, Tampa Bay Downs

  • *Career mounts - 21,415

  • *Career wins - 3,705

  • *Career purses earned by mounts - $90 million

©2019 by Julie Krone Junior Jockey Camp