Rubin to be Honored at Charles Town

Rubin became the first woman to win against men at a nationally recognized track.

From Charles Town Races & Slots

Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia will honor Barbara Jo Rubin on the 40th anniversary of her historic ride when she became the first woman to win a race against men at a nationally recognized racetrack.

On Feb. 21, Rubin will attend the races at Charles Town Races & Slots, sign autographs, and be recognized in the winners’ circle.

“It’s a historic event, and we felt it was important to recognize this milestone,” said Dickie Moore, general manager of racing at Charles Town. “We’re excited to have Barbara Jo and hope the fans come out to honor her as well.”

On Feb. 22, 1969, Barbara Jo Rubin became the first female jockey to win a parimutuel race at age 19 when she rode Cohesian to a half-length victory at Charles Town.

Her success led to her appearance on such television shows as “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “To Tell the Truth.” Less than a month later, she became New York’s first female winner when she rode Bravy Galaxy at Aqueduct. By the end of the 1969 season, she had won 22 of 89 races for an impressive 25% success rate during her rookie season.

Rubin began riding when she was 7 as a form of exercise to strengthen her legs, which had been crippled by polio. Though her success was amazing, by the end of her first season, Rubin had suffered numerous injuries that ended her short career.

Rubin has since competed as a driver, an endurance rider, and most recently in dressage. “As long as I can be around horses, I'm happy,” she said.

Ms. Rubin is also the subject of documentary “JOCK,” a feature-length documentary about the first generation of female jockeys who in the late 60's and early 70's fought for the right to ride as professional jockeys. Currently in production, director Jason Neff and crew will be on hand to shoot the event at Charles Town Races & Slots.