Why aren't women riding for roses at the Kentucky Derby?

Story highlights

  • Paul von Hippel, Katherine Keyes, and Caroline Rutherford: Racing needs to fix its gender problem
  • Putting more women in the saddle could address several of the sport's chronic problems, they say

Paul von Hippel is an Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin. Katherine Keyes and Caroline Rutherford are at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where Keyes is an Associate Professor and Rutherford is a data analyst. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the authors.

(CNN)No women will ride in Saturday's Kentucky Derby. That isn't unusual. Old race result charts (which are like box scores) show that since 1970, when Diane Crump became the first woman to start the Derby, only five other women have passed through the starting gate -- alongside 301 men. Since 2004, only one woman, Rosie Napravnik, has started any Triple Crown race -- and Napravnik retired three years ago.

Paul von Hippel