Department of Tourism Supports Crucian Jockeys Running in Kentucky Derby

~Launches campaign to promote St. Croix in California and Kentucky ~

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, April 22, 2013 –  The Department of Tourism (DOT) has jumped on the opportunity to support Crucian jockeys, Kevin Krigger and Victor Lebron, making history as the first Virgin Islanders to qualify for the prestigious Kentucky Derby.  Krigger qualified for the Derby by winning the Santa Anita Derby in April on Goldencents.  Lebron rode Frac Daddy to a second place finish at the Arkansas Derby qualifying for a coveted spot in Kentucky. The duo will compete in the 139th running of the Derby in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, May 4.  Both jockeys will wear apparel that includes the USVI logo at the race which will be broadcast live on television, radio and on the internet around the world.

 “The participation of two Virgin Islanders in such a prestigious event, who got their start in the Virgin Islands and still participate locally, is a tremendous recognition of the talent we have in the Territory and how we must nurture our young people for the eventual exposure as Ambassadors they bring to us,” declared Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. “The community’s coming together and pride that is felt and exhibited is on par with the international recognition that we are receiving because of these two young men.”

Following the announcement of their historic victories, the Department of Tourism reached out to Krigger and Lebron to offer congratulations and discuss promotional opportunities.  “We are extremely proud of these talented Virgin Islands athletes and pleased that both were very willing to partner with us to promote the USVI,” said Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty.

In support of their accomplishments and to bring attention to the US Virgin Islands, the Department has launched a marketing campaign focused around the Kentucky Derby event.  Beginning April 29, the DOT will air St. Croix-specific television ads in the Louisville and Los Angeles markets on NBC affiliates, leading up to Derby Day. Additional initiatives will take place at Churchill Downs on May 3 at the Kentucky Oaks, and May 4 at the Derby. The partnership includes a branded kiosk in the Derby Fan Zone allowing the DOT to interact with thousands of race-goers, through PA announcements on both race days, ads on the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network offering unprecedented consumer reach, and banner and tile ads on both the Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby websites with a minimum 500,000 guaranteed impressions. The DOT will also hold a sweepstakes, offering one lucky fan the opportunity to win a trip to St. Croix valued at $5000, including airfare, accommodations at the Buccaneer Hotel, dining/activities/retail certificates, spa treatments and a gift bag chockfull of USVI treats.

“Our presence at Churchill Downs will not only demonstrate our support for Kevin and Victor but is also a great opportunity for the USVI to showcase St. Croix,” said Nicholson-Doty. “The exposure to the destination over the two day period is invaluable.”

Churchill Downs has consistently rated among the most historical, well-known and aesthetically pleasing sporting venues in North America. Approximately 280,000 fans from around the world, with medium household incomes of $95,000, will attend Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.





Allegra Kean Moorehead

Director of Communications

(340) 774-8784 ext. 2234