Been a busy week traveling across the Commonwealth. Owensboro was great. Glad to be home, but more excited to attend an historic event on Friday night leading up to Derby Day. Former UK cornerback and Lexington native Ron Mack is honoring African-American jockeys and trainers who significantly influenced the horse racing industry at the Legacy Ball. Below is an excerpt highlighting the event…
Former University of Kentucky football player Ron Mack keeps up with sports. So imagine his surprise when he learned there were some great athletes from his old neighborhood he’d never heard of.
“Lexington is the Horse Capital of the World! I grew up in the East End of Lexington where the Kentucky Association Race Track used to be. It wasn’t until later in life I learned that, without historic contributions of African-Americans, we wouldn’t have the horse racing industry that we do today,” said Mack.
His newly found passion for sharing that history is why the former athlete is hosting a horse racing gala affair, dubbed the Legacy Ball during Derby week. “The Legacy Ball will pay homage to those African-American jockeys and trainers who had a significant impact on the horse racing industry,” Mack said. “Isaac Murphy and Oliver Lewis, among others, were both from the East End. What place better than Lexington, to recognize these important and historic figures?”
The Legacy Ball founder is planning a one-of-kind celebration for the African-American pioneers of the horse racing industry. It will be held May 5, in the brand-new Woodford Reserve Club; which is in the University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field. Few have had a chance to set foot in this venue, since its opening during the 2016 season. Mack says guest will enjoy food, music, dancing, simulated horse race betting “and of course, bourbon.”
It will also feature a premiere, historical exhibit of African-American racing pioneers; created by renowned equine expert and author of “The Prince of Jockeys”, Pellom McDaniel. “He is the leading authority on African-Americans in the horse racing industry. We absolutely wanted to include him on this event,” said Mack.
The event will not just be a walk down memory lane. The proceeds of what promises will be a chic and culturally-enriching affair will benefit local charities and scholarships for African-American students who aspire to pursue equine education. Mack says, “I encourage everyone to visit our website, www.thelegacyball.com to get your tickets today.” This is an event you don’t want to miss!
See you there.