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

Conley, Jess

Jess Conley, considered the last African American jockey to compete in the Kentucky Derby, was actually one of the last. Conley finished 3rd aboard Colston in 1911. He had competed in the Derby two times before: in 1898 aboard Han d'Or (finishing 4th), and in 1899 aboard Mazo (finishing 3rd). Henry King would be the next African American jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby in 1921, and Marlon St. Julien rode in 2000. For more see Black Maestro, by J. Drape; and R. A. Frister, "Forgotten heroes: Black winners of the Kentucky Derby," Ebony, May 1989, pp.82-87 [available online at Google Books].

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: King, Henry
NKAA Entry: St. Julien, Marlon
NKAA Source: Black maestro: the epic life of an American legend
NKAA Source: Ebony (periodical)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Conley, Jess,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 24, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-06-20 14:43:37