African-American Jockeys once championed the Kentucky Derby. The first person to ever win the Kentucky Derby was an African-American male named Oliver Lewis in 1875. 

The youngest person to win was Alonzo Clayton in 1892 at the age of 15. Isaac Burns Murphy still holds the world record for lifetime percentage winnings in Thoroughbred Racing history, with 628 wins out of 1,412 starts for 44%. His winnings include three Kentucky Derby wins, four American Derby wins, and five Latonia Derby wins. This record remains unmatched to date. 


Black men continued to dominate the sport throughout the late 19th century until the constraints of Jim Crow permanently disbarred them from participation. James Winkfield was the last black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby.  He won two consecutive races,  in 1901 and 1902.

Through a historical expose’ we are able to revisit the past and resurrect derby racing as an authentic African-American sport. We honor those southern athletes whose thoroughbred racing skills originated, and were developed in the West African Durbar. Their expertise and passion for the sport paved way and laid the very foundation for the celebrated Kentucky Derby race as we know it today. 

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