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Rookie Jockey Beckman Gains First Keeneland Victory

April 28, 2022

Alice Beckman is accustomed to hearing the cheers from fans each time she rides in a race at Keeneland, but the applause she heard after the seventh race Wednesday was for a different reason: She had just won aboard trainer Keith Kinmon’s Expensive Cut.

“I am usually the only girl in the race, so I get a lot of people cheering for me anyway,” Beckman said. “Of course, this was different because I won.”

Making his fifth start, Expensive Cut went to the lead at the start of the 1 1/16th-mile race for 3-year-olds and – to Beckman’s surprise – held his position throughout to score by 4 lengths.

“I was thinking, ‘Is anybody coming; where is everybody?’, ” Beckman said. “When we crossed the finish line I thought, ‘Is this real?’ The horse did it pretty easy. Keith did a good job setting him up for the race. We had a plan, and it worked out the way we wanted.”

After dismounting in the Winner’s Circle, Beckman gave Expensive Cut a pat on the neck and Kinmon gave Beckman a pat on the back.

“It is a nice statement for Alice to get a win at Keeneland,” said Kinmon. “It stamps her as knowing what she is doing and that she belongs with these other riders. She has a lot to learn, but she is riding against some of the best jockeys in the world.”

Beckman grew up riding horses at her mother’s farm on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, and competed in cross-country jumping, dressage and other events. She knew she always wanted to be a jockey but put that goal aside to earn an animal science degree from Auburn University in Alabama. Through the Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) program, she secured a job at Juddmonte in Lexington to further hone her saddle skills.

Beckman and Kinmon met at Belterra Park in Cincinnati, and he was impressed with her ability aboard a certain challenging Thoroughbred. He eventually gave Beckman her first mount, and she finished second at Turfway Park. Five days later on March 25, 2021, they teamed for Beckman’s first career win at Turfway.

Beckman’s first Keeneland victory improved her record to seven wins from 66 mounts.

Self-described “life partners” and a couple for more than four years, Kinmon and Beckman share equine chores at the track and their base in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, about halfway between Keeneland and Turfway. This summer, Kinmon plans to have a small string at Keeneland and compete at area tracks while Beckman advances her jockey career at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania.