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

Simms, Willie

(born: 1870  -  died: 1927) 

Willie Simms was born in Augusta, GA. This jockey compiled a 24.8% winning record, winning the Kentucky Derby in Louisville twice, in 1896 aboard Ben Bush and in 1898 on Plaudit. Simms was the first and only African American to win the Preakness, in 1898. He won over 1,100 races during his 14 year career. Simms was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1977. For more see The Great Black Jockeys, by E. Hotaling.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Great black jockeys : the lives and times of the men who dominated America's first national sport

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Simms, Willie,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-09-14 18:04:45