Racism in the Races is kind of ironic right? Even race is a factor in racing; horses that is. Well to be even more accurate, it reeks the “Hidden Figures II” storyline, it could literally be part II; if there was one. It would tell a story of the beautiful sable Geniuses of horse racing in Europe and in the Americas.

I recently had the honor of being a guest of Adria Williams (The It Girl) at the Play It Forward event for this year’s opening day at the Delmar Race Track 2021.


Issac Murphy; known as the Father of Thoroughbred Racing.

In 2015 the Del Mar National Horse Show marked its 70th anniversary this year, a Del Mar Library project, put on a program about the largely unknown stories of famed African American jockeys in the history of horse racing.

“African Americans in Thoroughbred Racing: Stories of America’s First Star Athletes” was presented by local educator, storyteller, and singer-song-writer Ross Moore, a former educator at the Kentucky Derby Museum at that time. Ross conducted research into the stories of early African American jockeys in the Kentucky Derby, he later published this work in a book titled, “The Great Black Jockeys.”

Moore went on to describe what might be considered America’s first true national sporting event, a match race that drew over 50,000 people, and the two slaves who competed.

Moore goes on to recall the story of a slave who defeated Andrew Jackson’s horses in nine different races.

During that year’s festivities, participants learned about the jockeys who dominated the early Kentucky Derbies, including Isaac Murphy, who many still believe was the greatest jockey, and Jimmy Winkfield, who was a star in America and Europe, but had to escape the Russian Revolution, the Nazi Occupation of France and finally, the bigotry of Jim Crow said Del Mar Library branch manager Polly Cipparrone.

Adria Williams one of Power Girl Lass owners spoke to SDMNEWS and shared her sentiments, “I wanted our investment to have the synergy that our people deserve, not just credit for our contribution, but that we can and have participated in the festivities like other races of people.”

“I wanted this meaning of the day to go far beyond the day, Adria says. “We wanted a day for community luminaries to enjoy, take a breather and have fun. Our supporters; I AM GREEN FOUNDATION, CAMP GID-UP, and the MAKE A FILM FOUNDATION graciously showed up and showed out. This is how our events are structured in order to create momentum for brands who collaborate in a way that cross-markets in various genres.”

In September, fall 2021, Power Girl Lass (a filly from a winning pedigree) will run in the Santa Anita Park races. Adria adds, “Our owner’s group has a united and aligned goal, and that is generational wealth. Ironically livestock (e.g., horses, cows, mules) were the responsibility of African descending indentured slaves just a few decades ago, this is at the bedrock of our strategy. Our focus is the re-write access to our historic dominated sports such as thoroughbred racing and to display it in the here and now and well into the future with African-American ownership.”

Adria laughs when we asked just how they ended up with the idea to purchase a horse? She goes on to say, “Well, when you have the choice of sending our children horseback riding for summer camp or actually finance a horse, we chose to own a horse, and a very good one I made add!” Purchasing a horse teaches economics to our children in more ways than one. First, it marries them to respect animals and to care for them. Secondly, understanding the importance of investing as well. Things like how the horse’s health is wealth and vice versa. It teaches them that it takes money to make money as in expenses versus gross and profit, so it was a no-brainer for us. As the old saying goes, we’re using our horse sense. #welovewhatwedo #urbanalchemy #

For more information follow Adria Wiliams @adria_theitgirl or Mailon Rivera


Buzzbox @buzzbox

Beyond Magazine

Sources: The San Diego Union-Tribune