HISTORY: Jockey Oliver Lewis Won the 1st Kentucky Derby 147 Years Ago (LISTEN)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

In the wake of the recent Kentucky Derby upset, today we take a brief look at Oliver Lewis, the jockey who won the very first Derby, and the history of Black jockeys at the event.

To read about it, read on. To hear about it, press PLAY:

[You can follow or subscribe to the Good Black News Daily Drop Podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, rss.com or create your own RSS Feed. Or just check it out every day here on the main website. Full transcript below]:

Hey, this is Lori Lakin Hutcherson, founder and editor in chief of goodblacknews.org, here to share with you a daily drop of Good Black News for Monday, May 9th, 2022, based on the “A Year of Good Black News Page-A-Day Calendar” published by Workman Publishing.

Jockey Oliver Lewis won the inaugural Kentucky Derby  atop the colt Aristides on May 17, 1875. One of thirteen Black jockeys in the fifteen-strong field, Lewis set an American record with his time of two minutes, 37.75 seconds over the mile and a half distance. (For the record, the Kentucky Derby became a 1.25 mile race in 1896).

Although Blacks dominated horseracing in the late 1800s, winning fifteen of the first twenty-eight Kentucky Derbies, by the early 1900s, they’d been pushed out of the sport, which also had become less accessible to the working classes.

James Winkfield won the Kentucky Derby in 1901 and 1902, but after 1921 there were no Black riders in the race until Marlon St. Julien in 2000.

To learn more about Oliver Lewis and the long heritage of African American people in horse racing, including the recent group of Black women owners who made history at the annual Kentucky Oaks Day horse racing event in Louisville when their horse “Seven Scents” scored first place during competition, you can watch the Kentucky Derby video on the history of Black Jockeys on YouTube, and check out the links provided in today’s show notes and in the episode’s full transcript posted on goodblacknews.org.

This has been a daily drop of Good Black News, written, produced and hosted by me, Lori Lakin Hutcherson.

Beats provided by freebeats.io and produced by White Hot.

If you like these Daily Drops, follow us on Apple, Google Podcasts, RSS.com, Amazon,Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Leave a rating or review, share links to your favorite episodes, or go old school and tell a friend.

For more Good Black News, check out goodblacknews.org or search and follow @goodblacknews anywhere on social.