Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

The Great Black Jockeys: The Lives and Times of the Men Who Dominated America's First National Sport Paperback


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$235.07 $70.00

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400080703
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400080700
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,739,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The most engrossing sports stories have a way of sneaking up on you. They explore issues much broader than competition, who won, and who lost; they are sports stories because they take place on the fields of play, but the light they shed illuminates much more than the athletic arena. On one level, The Great Black Jockeys is certainly about sports--indeed, racing was America's first national sport. But it's also about much more than that. It's an absorbing history, at times tragic, at times inspiring, of a nation in transition and the complex interrelationship between sports, society, attitudes, and race.

The overriding tragedy here is that this particular story essentially ends just after the turn of the 20th century. Before that, black riders dominated the game. In slave days, race riding could be a route to freedom. It was certainly a route to fame and a share of fortune. Whether a match race for bragging rights in the field, or a leg of the prestigious Triple Crown, black riders had at least a fair shake. Isaac Murphy, whose winning percentages have never been matched, won a trio of Kentucky Derbies. Jimmy Winkfield won back-to-back Runs for the Roses in 1901 and 1902. Yet, no black rider has piloted a winner in a major American stakes race since 1909. What happened?

By introducing us to a forgotten chapter in sports history and a host of deserving athletic legends sadly overlooked by time, Hotaling explores what did happen, and why a sport that witnessed blacks and whites competing as equals for so long at the highest levels suddenly locked the starting gate. The story Hotaling tells is as fascinating as it is painful, a story of opportunity unsaddled by prejudice and fear, and never significantly remounted again. "This is not black history," he makes clear. "It is not white history. It is American history." And like so much of American history, it's more complex than black and white. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

More than 200 years before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in professional baseball, black athletes, then slaves, dominated what was then and for a long time afterward America's most popular sport: horse racing. Black jockeys continued to be a major force in thoroughbred racing until the early part of this century, when they all but disappeared from the sport. Hotaling tells the stories of the greatest of the black riders, from Austin Curtis, who was born midway through the seventeenth century, through Jimmy Winkfield, who died in 1974. They are fascinating stories, previously untold, and they constitute a very significant contribution to the history of race and sport in America. Hotaling's politically correct explanation for the current paucity of black jockeys (racism) seems too easy and too easily arrived at, though it might be largely true. Still, one can understand Hotaling's caution: as a young reporter, he asked the questions that led Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder to utter his now-infamous remarks about black athletes--remarks that brought about the immediate destruction of Snyder's career. Dennis Dodge --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
5
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 6 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Hotaling's latest horse-racing book is a must read for anyone who considers himself a true afficianado of the sport. It tells a story which far too many people, even serious horse players, know little about. Horse racing is unique among sports in America because it is has virtually no black presence. There are few black owners, trainers, and breeders, and very few of the most visible players in racing, the jockeys. This was not always the case. In fact, black jockeys once dominated America's oldest sport. The first winner of the Kentucky Derby was black, as was the Derby's first repeat winner and its first three-time winner. The jockey with the highest winning percentage in history was black. Hotaling gives the history of these pioneers, and in doing so gives a history of the sport. He also deals with the glaring question: why have black jockeys largely dissappeared from the sport? It is well-written and insightful, a book invaluable to those who value the history of horse racing.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Neal S on January 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Any person who is a serious study of sports history will find this a most compelling dialogue on the "true" evolution of the American professional athlete. It is simply the most "untold" and most compelling story in the American experience. Today's athletes - of whatever color - should read this book to get a true appreciation for the foundations of the "professional" athlete in America and the depth of character exhibited by these great athletes under the most dire conditions.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ron J. on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this book because it combined Black History and horse racing. Two of my favorite subjects. The book is well organized, full of information.
The author seamlessly intertwines American History, African American History, and the history of horse racing in America. So the book keeps your interest. He also balances historical facts, with the colorful characters\stories surrounding horseracing, while elevating Black jockies to their noble place in the "sport of kings".
This book is worth the price. A great read!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0xa174c600)