Hidden History of Horse Racing in Kentucky
A behind-the-scenes history of the Bluegrass State’s iconic sport.Horse racing and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are synonymous. The equine industry in the state dates as far back as the eighteenth century, and some of that history remains untold. The Seventeenth Earl of Derby made the trip from England to Louisville for the famed Kentucky Derby. Many famous African American jockeys grew up in the area but fled to Europe during the Jim Crow era. Gambling on races is a popular pastime, but betting in the early days caused significant changes in the sport. Hidden History of Horse Racing in Kentucky details the rich and the lesser-known history at the tracks in the Bluegrass State.
accessed December accessed November 14 accessed September acres African American African American jockeys Ambrose American Turf Ashland became began Belmont Belmont Stakes betting bettor Bluegrass bookies bookmaking bred breeder breeding Buzzard Central Kentucky Churchill Downs city limits Clay's clubhouse colonial Earl of Derby early equine cemetery established Fayette County gambling gate Hamburg Place Henry Clay Herr Hollingsworth horse farm Horse Racing horsemen Ibid John Kentucky Association track Kentucky Derby Kentucky Horse Kentucky Horse Park land Lewis Lexington History Museum Lexington Jockey Club Lexington Leader Louisville Madden mares McDowell Murphy one-mile oval track owner pari-mutual wagering Park Photograph by author purchased Race Course racetrack Racing in Central Red Mile residential rider riding Risner Road Shippingport Silks sold South speedway stables stallion standardbred started Street stud Tates Creek thoroughbred town Triple Crown University of Kentucky Vase Vimont Virginia Winkfield winner Woodlawn Race Woodlawn Vase