Julie Krone is a retired American jockey. In 1993, she became the first female jockey to win a Triple Crown race when she captured the Belmont Stakes aboard Colonial Affair. In 2000 she became the first woman inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Julie Krone appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the issue of May 22, 1989. She is one of only eight jockeys so recognized (the others are Willie Shoemaker, Bill Hartack, Eddie Arcaro, John Longden, John Sellers, Robyn Smith and ). Krone also was the only woman to win riding championships at Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park, Monmouth Park, the Meadowlands and Atlantic City Race Course.
Krone retired for the first time on April 18, 1999, with a three-winner day at Lone Star Park, near Dallas. She embarked upon a broadcasting career in horse racing. From 1999-2000 she worked as an analyst for TVG Network, then worked as a paddock analyst for Hollywood Park from 1999-2002.
But then Krone came out of retirement at Santa Anita Park in November 2002. After a good start to the 2003 season, she fractured two bones in her lower back and spent the next four months recovering. She returned to lead the 2003 Del Mar jockeys in purse earnings, then went on to become the first woman jockey to win a Breeders' Cup race when she rode Halfbridled to victory in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. On December 12, 2003, just weeks after her Breeders' Cup win, she broke several ribs and suffered severe muscle tears in a fall at Hollywood Park Racetrack. Though not fully recovered from her injuries, Krone attempted to come back on Feb. 14, 2004, at Santa Anita Park, but failed to win in three races. She did not ride again; on July 8 of that year, she made a statement in which she did not officially retire, but strongly hinted that she would never race again.
Krone is married to Jay Hovdey, an executive columnist for the Daily Racing Form. She gave birth to their daughter Lorelei Judith Krone on September 27, 2005. (Hovdey also has a son, Ed, from his previous marriage.) Some other relatives which Krone stays close with are her brother Donnie Krone, father Don Krone, and nephew Danny Kauffman. Her mother, Judi Krone, was an accomplished equestrian who died a few days before Christmas of 1999.
Apart from motherhood, Krone's second retirement from riding has been occupied as a racing broadcaster, a motivational speaker, and an instructor in the discipline of natural horsemanship. Krone made a brief "comeback" of sorts in a sanctioned betting race at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 18, 2008, while competing against seven other retired Hall of Fame jockeys: Gary Stevens, Pat Day, Chris McCarron, Jerry Bailey, Angel Cordero, Jacinto Vasquez and Sandy Hawley. Krone planned to participate in more "old-timer" style races during 2009.
Krone has an autobiography entitled Riding for My Life, which also serves as the basis for the upcoming feature film on Julie's life, Freak (formerly The Boys Club). The movie will be directed by award-winning filmmaker Katherine Brooks, produced by Sophie Watts, and executive produced by John Manulis.