Ridden by African-American jockey Oliver Lewis, a colt named Aristides won the first Kentucky Derby. Lewis set a standard for black jockeys, who won 15 of the next 28 Kentucky Derbies. Later that year, Lewis rode Aristides to a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. At the time, the Kentucky Derby was not the huge national event it would become. It was a single race that was the highlight, but still only a part of the Spring meeting of Louisville Jockey Club. It was estimated about 12,000 people showed up for the entire event. At the time, horse racing was the largest national sport, and was populated largely by black jockeys, setting a precedence that wouldn't return until after the civil rights movement. Aristides set the fastest time ever for a three year old horse with his win of the Kentucky Derby.
Forest and Stream: A Journal of Outdoor Life, Travel, Nature Study, Shooting?, May 20, 1875, 231.