The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby

By Kirkus Reviews

Indomitable African-American jockey Jimmy Winkfield, known as Wink in horse-racing history, is the subject of Hubbard’s dramatic picture-book biography, which explains Winkfield’s career struggles as the last African-American jockey to win a Kentucky Derby, in 1902. From Winkfield’s initial love of horses as a sharecropper’s child to success at the raceways, loss of opportunity in the United States and the development of a successful career in France, his ambition is a dominant thread. The emphasis is on the races, however, the narration reading like a race call as Wink maneuvers his mounts to victory—and sometimes defeat. McGuire’s rough, realistic oils depict both racing action and turning points in the life of this two-time Derby winner. The foreword, afterword and list of sources will guide readers to more information. As a whole, this overview of Winkfield’s life as a jockey stands as both a celebration of racing and a snapshot of one determined man.