11/24/2009 12:00AM

Hanford, rode Derby winner as apprentice, dies


Ira Hanford, the first apprentice jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, died on Saturday in Ocala, Fla. He was 91.

Hanford was just 18 years old when he guided the 20-1 Bold Venture to his Kentucky Derby victory in 1936. It was the only Derby that Hanford participated in during his riding career. One month earlier, Hanford rode the great but then-unknown Seabiscuit in two allowance races at the old Jamaica Racetrack in New York.

Hanford, nicknamed "Babe," was one of three brothers who rode during the 1930s. Buddy Hanford died in a riding accident at Pimlico in 1935. Carl Hanford went on to train five-time horse of the year Kelso and was later elected to the National Racing Hall of Fame.