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

Lee, James (jockey)

(born: 1887  -  died: 1915) 

In 1907, Lee, an African American jockey, became the third jockey in history to win all of the races on the card. The races took place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY; Lee won six races. Some of the wins were long shots: a one dollar bet netted $13,000 on one race.

Lee was under contract to J. B. Respess of Cincinnati, OH. He also broke a record by two seconds riding the horse Foreigner.

Lee tied the record set by jockeys Fred Archer and George Fordham, who also won all the races on their cards in England. Jockey Monk Overton, also an African American, won six of seven races at Washington Park in Chicago; he did not have a horse for the seventh race.

James "Jimmy" Lee was born and died in Raceland, LA.

For more see "J. Lee rides six winners," The Washington Post, 6/06/1907, p. 8; "J. Lee wins every race at Louisville," New York Times, 6/06/1907, p. 9; and "Remarkable jockey feats," Daily Racing Form, 4/11/1912, p. 1.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Washington post (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Daily racing form (serial)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Lee, James (jockey),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed November 29, 2022,

Last modified: 2020-10-21 18:01:16