Oliver Lewis

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Oliver Lewis, the winning jockey of the first Kentucky Derby
Jockey Oliver Lewis riding Aristides to victory in inaugural Kentucky Derby, May 17, 1875.
Oliver Lewis
Fayette County, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Resting placeAfrican Cemetery No. 2 (Lexington, Kentucky)
Major racing wins
American Classics wins:
Kentucky Derby (1875)
Oliver Lewis Way, Lexington, Kentucky
Significant horses

Oliver Lewis (1856–1924) was an African-American jockey in Thoroughbred horse racing. On May 17, 1875, Lewis rode in the very first Kentucky Derby on the winning horse, Aristides. The pair won by a reported two lengths, setting a new American record time for a mile-and-a-half race. Lewis and Aristides took second place in the Belmont Stakes, which is now the third race of the Triple Crown.[1] [2][3]

Lewis was born in Fayette County, Kentucky in 1856. After his death in 1924 he was buried in Benevolent Society No. 2 Cemetery, which is now known as African Cemetery No. 2.[4][5]

On September 8, 2010 the Newtown Pike Extension in Lexington, Kentucky was named Oliver Lewis Way in honor of Lewis’s historic accomplishments.[6]

External Links[edit]

  • Oliver Lewis Biography [1]]


  1. ^ "The Kentucky Derby's Forgotten Jockeys - African American jockeys once dominated the track". Smithsonian Institution. 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  2. ^ "Jockeys, Kentucky Derby (1875-2017)" (PDF). Churchill Downs Incorporated. 2018-01-01. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  3. ^ "Eight Acres of History: Lexington's African Cemetery No. 2". YouTube. Lexington Public Library. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Oliver Lewis". ky.gov. Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  5. ^ "African Cemetery No. 2". africancemeteryno2.org. African Cemetery No. 2 Inc. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  6. ^ "What you may not know about Lexington's newest road". Lexington Herald-Leader. 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2018-11-01.