Newtown Pike Extension to become Oliver Lewis Way

Newtown Pike Extension to become Oliver Lewis Way

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government recently allowed the public to cast their votes in selecting a new name for the Newtown Pike Extension, from among five committee recommendations that fell within naming guidelines. The finalists selected by the Committee were: Oliver Lewis Way; Millennium Road; Mary Todd Lincoln Boulevard; Equestrian Boulevard; and Bolivar.

And the Winner  is Oliver Lewis Way.

According to Smithsonian Magazine’s 2009 article,  The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys,

“May 17, 1875, Oliver Lewis, a 19-year-old black native Kentuckian, rode Aristides, a chestnut colt trained by a former slave, to a record-setting victory. Two years later William Walker, 17, claimed the race. Isaac Murphy became the first jockey to win three Kentucky Derbys, in 1884, 1890, and 1891, and won an amazing 44 percent of all the races he rode, a record still unmatched.”

According to the Kentucky Derby site “Oliver Lewis rode Aristides to a two-length upset victory in the inaugural running of the Derby in 1875. The time, 2:37 3/4, established an American record for the 1 1/2 miles. Later that year he guided Aristides to a second in the Belmont. He won three races during Churchill’s inaugural meet to take the honor as leading rider. Lewis never rode in another Kentucky Derby but was on hand for the 33rd running in 1907. Detailed information is not available, but it was reported that he later worked for a bookmaker (legal at the time) and provided detailed information on how the horses ran. This method of race result notes was later developed into charts which served as a forerunner to the Daily Racing Form and Equibase systems.”

(Best name for the Newtown Pike Extension is also a category in this year’s Ace Best of Lexington. The winners will be announced in the September 16 Annual Ace Best of Lexington issue.)