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Who Was James Winkfield?

Monday, April 26, 2010
Who Was James Winkfield?

Barring last-minute changes, when the world tunes in next week to watch the 136th Kentucky Derby, they won't see any African-American jockeys under the twin spires. In contrast, at the first Kentucky Derby in 1875, 13 out of 15 jockeys were black. Among the first 28 derby winners, 15 were black. But as segregation solidified in America, fewer African-Americans raced. James Winkfield was the last black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, riding to victory in both 1901 and 1902. On Monday we'll hear Winkfield's story, and learn more about the history of African-Americans in thoroughbred racing.

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Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.