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The Rise, Fall, and Disappearance of Black Horsemen

The first Kentucky Derby, in 1875, was won by Aristides. On his back was a black jockey, Oliver Lewis; the man who trained him, Ansel Williamson, was also black. Five years earlier, Kingfisher had won the Belmont Stakes, ridden by Edward Brown, trained by Raleigh Colston, both men who had been born into slavery. That…

Remembering Jimmy Winkfield

The sport of horse racing is the only instance where the participation of blacks stopped almost completely while the sport itself continued—a sad commentary on American life…Isaac Murphy, so highly admired during his time for his skills and character, would have been ashamed of his sport.  –Arthur Ashe, quoted by Edward Hotaling in They’re Off!…

Jimmy Winkfield and New York

Holiday Mondays are a beautiful thing. Many of us get a day off, and the racing fans among us often get a chance to get to the track or place a few wagers at tracks that are ordinarily shuttered on Mondays. Aqueduct, Santa Anita, and Gulfstream Park will all be open tomorrow, but only one…

Jimmy Winkfield

“The sport of horse racing is the only instance where the participation of blacks stopped almost completely while the sport itself continued—a sad commentary on American life…Isaac Murphy, so highly admired during his time for his skills and character, would have been ashamed of his sport.” –Arthur Ashe, quoted in Hotaling. Today, on the day…

Jimmy Winkfield

Open on Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, Aqueduct will run the Jimmy Winkfield, named for the last black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. Formerly the Best Turn Stakes, the race was named in honor of Winkfield in 2005. On the NPR site, these photos are credited to Churchill Downs/ Kinetic. Jimmy…