Jockey Oliver Lewis won the inaugural Kentucky Derby atop the colt Aristides on May 17, 1875. Lewis was one of thirteen Black jockeys in the fifteen-strong field.
But even though Blacks dominated horseracing in the late 1800s, by the early 1900s, they’d been pushed out of the sport, with James Winkfield being the last to win in 1902. After an almost 80 year drought, in 2000, Marlon St. Julien was the next Black jockey to compete.
To learn more about Oliver Lewis and the long history of African American people in horse racing, check out the sources below.
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