Retired jockey to be inducted into Black Sportsman Hall of Fame

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by Renee Murphy

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 3, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Updated Thursday, May 3 at 7:07 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- "It's an unexplainable thrill," retired jockey James Long said. 
 
We caught up with Long at the one place he said feels like home, the race track.
 
"Blacks are the foundation of this industry," Long said.
 
Long is now an agent for jockeys, but you can really call him an agent of change.  He is looking to change some people's perception of horse racing.
 
"Some slaves were known to have rode their way to freedom to be able to ride enough to make money to buy their families or wives," Long said.
 
Long raced for 33 years, many races were at Churchill Downs. Because of his career, and his message about the history of horse racing, Long is now being honored by the Black Sportsman Hall of Fame.
 
"The name honor said it all.  I'm honored to be still in the business.  I'm active in the sport that I really love.  It's great," he said.
 
But before the honor, he is soaking up this Derby Week.  And he is telling history to those who may not know the whole story.
 
"Every opportunity I get to educate someone about it I take advantage of it," Long said.
 
Long will be honored on Oaks Day at the TARC Union Hall at 9th and Colorado in Louisville.

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