Jimmy Winkfield, an African-American jockey who won back-to-back editions of the Kentucky Derby, has been honored in a resolution passed by the United States House of Representatives May 5.The resolution applauds the life of Winkfield, a native of Chilesburg, Ky., and the last African-American jockey to win the Derby, according to an announcement by Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield and Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush."Jimmy Winkfield is a Kentucky Derby legend," Whitfield said in a release. "He overcame adversity throughout his life to become one of the greatest jockeys of all time. 'Wink' was a true Kentuckian who won all of his Derbies on Kentucky-bred horses."
"This resolution is about a forgotten part of our rich American history," Rush said. "I feel that it is entirely appropriate, during the celebration and grandeur leading up to the Kentucky Derby this Saturday, that we remember and celebrate the excellence and early dominance of African-American jockeys in the Derby and in the sport of horse racing."In particular, this resolution highlights the remarkable life of a man who consistently overcame segregation and other obstacles to become the dominant athlete of his sport--the life of Jimmy Winkfield."Winkfield won the Derby in 1901 aboard His Eminence and 1902 aboard Alan-a-Dale. During his racing career, Winkfield won more than 2,600 races. In 2004, Winkfield was inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame.
Whitfield and Rush worked to get rare, same-day consideration of the resolution, according to a release. The Government Reform Committee approved the legislation in the morning and sent it to the House floor for immediate consideration that allowed for its passage in the afternoon.