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.

Listen to the Show

Spring Meets Starts Tomorrow at Churchill Downs

by Stephanie Crosby Opening day at Churchill Downs could determine a Derby contender. The 42-day spring meet starts tomorrow. Spokesperson Darren Rogers says the tenth race is the Grade-three Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial. “The two marquis horses trying to get into this year’s Kentucky Derby are Eightyfiveinafifty, he’s the 8-to-5 favorite, and Pleasant Prince, who… Continue reading Spring Meets Starts Tomorrow at Churchill Downs

Looking at Possibilities for a Louisville Public Art Plan

This is a story from WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer. Last month, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson released a plan for public art [pdf] in the city. It came after nearly 17 months of preparation and $50,000 spent for a consultant who worked with the community to develop it. The plan now goes before the Metro Council for… Continue reading Looking at Possibilities for a Louisville Public Art Plan

3,000 Derby and Oaks Tickets Sell Out in 48 Minutes

Today’s online sale of three-thousand Kentucky Derby and Oaks tickets was sold out in 48 minutes. Churchill Downs spokesperson Darren Rogers says their ticket sales website received fifty-thousand requests in the first five minutes of the sale. “There were a number of folks who were in line, or were in queue, in case those other… Continue reading 3,000 Derby and Oaks Tickets Sell Out in 48 Minutes

PHOTOS: Artwork for 2010 Kentucky Derby and Oaks Unveiled

Officials at Churchill Downs have tapped a French artist to supply this year’s artwork for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks. Linda Le Kinff was at the unveiling this morning of the artwork. Speaking through an interpreter, Le Kinff says she’s never seen the Kentucky Derby, but was honored to participate. “Artistically, it was just a… Continue reading PHOTOS: Artwork for 2010 Kentucky Derby and Oaks Unveiled

Renovations Planned At Kentucky Derby Museum

Kentucky Derby Museum officials say the flood-damaged attraction adjacent to Churchill Downs will re-open in mid-April. The museum has been closed since August 4, when its main floor and basement sustained flood damage estimated at more than $4 million. Now, executive director Lynn Ashton says the entire museum will have a new look when it… Continue reading Renovations Planned At Kentucky Derby Museum

Film on Secretariat Shoots at Churchill Downs this Week

Walt Disney Studios is filming scenes in town this week for its upcoming film Secretariat — about the horse that won thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and whose record runs in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes still stand. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more. The production, with cast members Diane Lane and John Malkovich,… Continue reading Film on Secretariat Shoots at Churchill Downs this Week

Churchill Downs To Install Permanent Lights

The home of the Kentucky Derby will have permanent lights installed for night racing. Churchill Downs officials announced Monday that the lights will be ready in time for the 2010 spring meet. Three experimental night racing cards last summer using temporary lights were a success, drawing a total of nearly 90,000 fans. Churchill Downs spokesperson… Continue reading Churchill Downs To Install Permanent Lights

Derby Winner To Run In Preakness

Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will run in the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore on May 16. Trainer Chip Wooley said Sunday he wanted to see how the three-year-old gelding recovered from his Derby run before deciding if he would compete in the Preakness. Wooley made the decision Monday morning to go to Baltimore after… Continue reading Derby Winner To Run In Preakness

Derby Favorite Scratched From Race

Kentucky Derby favorite I Want Revenge has been scratched from today’s race.   That leaves a field of 19 for the Run for the Roses.     Here’s the announcement from Churchill Downs: ANKLE PROBLEM FORCES SCRATCH OF MORNING LINE FAVORITE I WANT REVENGE FROM DERBY 135 I WANT REVENGE – Morning-line favorite I Want Revenge was scratched… Continue reading Derby Favorite Scratched From Race