Posted on May 26, 2011

Md. Legislator Angered About Absence of Black Jockeys in Preakness

AFRO (Baltimore), May 21, 2011

A Maryland legislator has expressed his anger that no Black jockeys are among those running in the Preakness field on May 21 in Baltimore.

State Del. Emmett C. Burns said discrimination still exists in the sport.

“The racial make-up today in the major horse races is quite different from years ago when black riders dominated the sport and won large prizes for white owners,” Burns said in a statement. “Experts say that the prestigious Jockey Club is a prime example of how White males with Southern roots and Ivy League backgrounds continue to dominate what has become an extremely profitable sport.”

Burns said Keith Chamblin, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association senior vice president, told reporters in 2009, “I’ve never contemplated an ad campaign to reach African-Americans specifically, nor would I.”

Burns contends that University of Arizona’s celebrated race track program has only graduated one Black student since January 1991.