Eugene James

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Eugene James
Born(1914-03-14)March 14, 1914
Louisville, Kentucky,
United States
DiedJune 10, 1933(1933-06-10) (aged 19)
Chicago, Illinois,
United States
Resting placeResthaven Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky
Career winsNot found
Major racing wins
New Orleans Handicap (1931)
Mardi Gras Handicap (1931)
Kentucky Oaks (1931)
Matron Stakes (1932)

U.S. Triple Crown series:
Kentucky Derby (1932)
Preakness Stakes (1932

Significant horses
Cousin Jo, Burgoo King

Eugene D. James (March 14, 1914 - June 10, 1933) was an American Thoroughbred horse racing jockey.[1]

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, James was a very promising young jockey who began racing in 1930 at age seventeen. According to TIME magazine, he "made a sensation" in his first season of racing. Although he didn't start until June, his 138 wins that year ranked him fourth among all North American jockeys. Among his first major wins, he guided the filly Cousin Jo to victory in the 1931 Kentucky Oaks.

In 1932, Eugene James was the jockey for Burgoo King, a colt owned by the prominent horseman Col. Edward R. Bradley of Idle Hour Stock Farm. James rode Burgoo King to victory in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The horse was not entered in the Belmont Stakes.[2] [3]

Unfortunately, Eugene James had problems maintaining his weight and suffered from bulimia that became so severe he had to stop riding. Though he was not racing, he was in Chicago, Illinois in June 1933 when the season at Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course was in full swing. During the evening of June 10, the twenty-year-old James and two friends went to Chicago's popular Oak Street Beach on Lake Michigan where he went swimming, and drowned.[4] [5]

Eugene James is buried in the Resthaven Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.


  1. ^ "Kentucky Derby Winning Jockey Has Short Career Mysterious Death". Thoroughbred Times. 2005-05-14. Retrieved 2007-03-17.
  2. ^ "Derby Countdown Burgoo King 1932". Louisville Courier Journal. 2015-03-05. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  3. ^ "Burgoo King Wins Preakness In Great Finish". Daily Racing Form at University of Kentucky Archives. 1932-05-16. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  4. ^ "Eugene James obituary". TIME. 1933-06-19. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  5. ^ "Derby Victor Dies In Lake Michigan". New York Times. 1933-06-12. Retrieved 2019-05-08.