Willie Simms

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Willie Simms
Willie Simms (c.1898)
Occupation Jockey
Born January 16, 1870
Augusta, Georgia, United States
Died February 26, 1927
Career wins 1,125
Major racing wins

Spinaway Stakes (1891)
Champion Stakes (1892)
Lawrence Realization Stakes (1893, 1894)
Jerome Handicap (1895)
Brighton Handicap (1897, 1898)
Tremont Stakes (1897)
Toboggan Handicap (1898)

American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1896, 1898)
Preakness Stakes (1898)
Belmont Stakes (1893, 1894)
Racing awards
United States Champion Jockey by wins (1893, 1894)
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1977)
Significant horses
Ben Brush, Sly Fox, Henry of Navarre,
Commanche, Plaudit, Lamplighter
Willie Sims, circa 1900.

Willie Simms (January 16, 1870, near Augusta, Georgia, United States – February 26, 1927 in Ashbury, New Jersey) was an American Hall of Fame thoroughbred horse racing jockey.

Simms began racing in 1887 and was one of the most successful jockeys using the short-stirrup style (which gave the rider a crouching posture). En route to winning the United States riding title in 1893 and 1894, Simms won back-to-back Belmont Stakes. The following year he raced in England, where he became the first American jockey to win with an American horse in that country.

Back in the United States, Simms won the 1896 Kentucky Derby in its first running at 1¼ miles on Ben Brush. He repeated as the Derby winner in 1898, aboard Plaudit. Before the advent of the term "Triple Crown" and the importance of the U.S. Triple Crown series, Simms went on to take the Preakness Stakes a few weeks later on a different horse, Sly Fox. He is the only African American jockey to win all three Triple Crown races.[1]

During his 14-year career, Willie Simms rode some of the great Thoroughbred racehorses of the day such as two-time U.S. Horse of the Year, Henry of Navarre.

Willie Simms finished his riding career with 1,125 wins and in 1977 was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.[2]