Moreover, it seems that every genre of music has its share of horse racing fans. Here are some of the well-known names of the world of music who are known to have also made an impact on Thoroughbred racing.
Jack Harlow is a Louisville native who was raised on a horse farm, and as such the Kentucky Derby has been a part of his life since his birth in 1998. He is a well-known rapper whose renowned tracks include “First Class” (winner of MTV Video Music Awards’ “2022 Song of the Summer) and “Industry Baby” (with Lil Nas X, winner of MTV Video Music Awards’ “2022 Best Collaboration,” “2022 Best Art Direction,” and “2022 Best Visual Effects”).
To showcase his love of racing, he produced a track with Drake entitled “Churchill Downs.” As a result, he and Drake attended the 2022 Kentucky Derby together. Later, Harlow claimed that he “lost a lot of money” at the betting windows that day, but enjoyed himself regardless.
The controversial rapper Lil Nas X is also a fan of horse racing in his own right. Most famous for singles such as “Old Town Road,” “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and the aforementioned “Industry Baby,” Lil Nas X is no stranger to controversy. He is the only singer to ever publicly come out as gay while having a current chart-topping single.
Lil Nas X was in attendance at the 2019 Kentucky Derby, and so witnessed the disqualification of Maximum Security for interference. Lil Nas X later tweeted that he knew how Maximum Security must have felt, and that he supported the horse.
Not one but two of the members of the classic rock band The Rolling Stones have demonstrated interest in horse racing. Lead singer Mick Jagger is a frequent guest at the Kentucky Derby, often being seen walking the red carpet. Jagger has been riding horses since childhood and owns a horse farm in the United Kingdom.
Lead guitarist Ronnie Wood is also an avid horseman. He owned Sandymount House in Ireland, and that breeding operation earned him an award as Ireland’s Small Breeder of the Year in 1999.
Perhaps the musician with the most direct impact on the world of horse racing was rapper MC Hammer, who was not only a fan of the sport, but a direct participant in it. In the early 1990s, MC Hammer decided to purchase some Thoroughbred racehorses.
Not only did his ebullient personality make a splash wherever his horses raced, registered under Oaktown Stable, Hammer actually owned some talented horses who appeared in notable races.
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Two of MC Hammer’s runners stand out above the rest. One is Dance Floor, a colt by Star de Naskra who won the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes and placed in the Grade I Florida Derby en route to a respectable third-place finish in the 1992 Kentucky Derby. The other horse, Lite Light, was a filly by Majestic Light who won four Grade I races in 1991, including the Kentucky Oaks and the Coaching Club American Oaks. Hammer made racing a family affair, and Hammer, along with his father and brother, were known to bet lavishly, often driving down the odds on their own horses.
These days, Hammer has hung up his racing silks and stepped back from the limelight. Having won three Grammy Awards and sold over 50 million records, Hammer now spends his days as a spokesman, producer, and minister.