Jockey Oliver Lewis Gained the first Kentucky Derby 147 Years In the past (LISTEN) – •

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Within the wake of the current Kentucky Derby upset, at present we take a short have a look at Oliver Lewis, the jockey who gained the very first Derby, and the historical past of Black jockeys on the occasion.

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Hey, that is Lori Lakin Hutcherson, founder and editor in chief of, right here to share with you a each day drop of • for Monday, Could ninth, 2022, primarily based on the “A 12 months of • Web page-A-Day Calendar” revealed by Workman Publishing.

Jockey Oliver Lewis gained the inaugural Kentucky Derby  atop the colt Aristides on Could 17, 1875. One among 13 Black jockeys within the fifteen-strong area, Lewis set an American file along with his time of two minutes, 37.75 seconds over the mile and a half distance. (For the file, the Kentucky Derby grew to become a 1.25 mile race in 1896).

Though Blacks dominated horseracing within the late 1800s, successful fifteen of the primary twenty-eight Kentucky Derbies, by the early 1900s, they’d been pushed out of the game, which additionally had turn into much less accessible to the working lessons.

James Winkfield gained the Kentucky Derby in 1901 and 1902, however after 1921 there have been no Black riders within the race till Marlon St. Julien in 2000.

To study extra about Oliver Lewis and the lengthy heritage of African American folks in horse racing, together with the current group of Black ladies homeowners who made historical past on the annual Kentucky Oaks Day horse racing occasion in Louisville when their horse “Seven Scents” scored first place throughout competitors, you may watch the Kentucky Derby video on the historical past of Black Jockeys on YouTube, and take a look at the hyperlinks supplied in at present’s present notes and within the episode’s full transcript posted on

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