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Donna Brothers

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Donna Brothers

Donna Brothers

Starlight Racing, StarLadies Racing

Donna Brothers began riding professionally in 1987. From a family of riders, being in the saddle came as second nature to Donna. Her mother was a professional jockey (one of the first few women to be licensed as such in the United States) and her father was a rough-stock rider on the rodeo circuit. Her brother and sister are both former jockeys.

Donna was the leading stakes winning rider at the Churchill Downs’ 1995 spring/summer meet and rode Hennessey to a second place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile that year. She retired from race riding in 1998, as the second leading female jockey in the country by money earned. That same year she married former thoroughbred horse trainer Frank Brothers.

She began dabbling in on-air horse racing coverage with Television Games Network (TVG), ESPN, and the Fairgrounds Race Course in the fall of 1998 and worked for Churchill Downs as an on-air racing analyst and handicapper from 1999 through 2003.

In 2000 she began working for NBC Sports as their on-track reporter and racing analyst on their thoroughbred horse racing shows, and has covered the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup among many other thoroughbred horse racing events and races for NBC Sports. She has also covered the Hambletonian Stakes, the Kentucky Three Day Event, the World Equestrian Games, the AQHA World Championship Show, and Professional Bull Riding (PBR) for that network. 

In 2011 she published a book titled, Inside Track: Insider’s Guide to Horse Racing. Written with the knowledge that there’s a huge learning curve for newcomers to horse racing and there were no books out there acting as a beginner’s guide to the sport.

Donna currently serves as Strategic Advisor for the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, and sits on the executive board of both the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), and the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF).    

She resides in Louisville, Kentucky and Saratoga Springs, New York with her husband, Frank, and two dogs.