From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Ray, Harry

(born: 1870) Harry Ray was an African American jockey who won the Kentucky Oaks in 1892 riding the horse Miss Dixie [source: The Negro In Sports by E. B. Henderson]. In 1890, Harry Ray had ridden for D. Waldo for a salary of $5,000 [source: "Of Race Interest: a list of Afro-American jockeys and their salaries," Cleveland Gazette, 05/17/1890, front page]. Harry Ray came in 4th on the horse Al Boyer in the 1894 Kentucky Derby. Little is known about Harry Ray's life, especially the more positive aspects of his horse racing career. There are many negative articles written about him in various newspapers. Harry Ray was ruled off the Oakly in 1897 for swindling a visitor on a bogus $25 ticket [source: Turf, Field, and Farm, September 24, 1897, p.399, bottom of center column]. It was not the first time that Harry Ray had been ruled off the track; in 1891, he was reinstated after having been ruled off the track for a bad showing [source: "Scraps of Sport," St. Paul Daily Globe, 12/20/1891, p.11]. In 1894, Harry Ray was riding for Boby Holliday, "a Kentucky racer" [source: "Items in Three States," The Morning News (Savannah, Georgia), 12/17/1894, p. 6]. Ray was riding at 120 pounds. Harry Ray was in court in Lexington, KY, in 1896; his case was dismissed in the Circuit Court on the charge of stealing a diamond ring from Pearl Britton, the wife of Tom Britton [source: "Jockey Ray Dismissed," The Climax, 07/15/1896, p.4]. In 1889, Harry Ray was suspended indefinitely from the Louisville Jockey Club for intimidating and assaulting jockey Sloan [source: "Whips and Tips," St. Paul Daily Globe, 10/07/1889, p.5]. Harry Ray was born in Washington, D.C., according to the 1900 U.S. Census, when he and his wife Susie were living in Manhattan, NY. Journalist Harold McCath estimated that Harry Ray had earned $100,000 during his career [source: H. McCath, "World of Sport," Freeman, 12/28/1912, front page].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Negro in sports
NKAA Source: The Cleveland gazette (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Turf, field and farm (serial)
NKAA Source: St. Paul daily globe (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Morning news (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Richmond climax (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Indianapolis freeman (newspaper)
NKAA Entry: Britton, Thomas M., Sr. "Tom"

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Ray, Harry,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 17, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-04-09 19:53:57