Park Heights Renaissance Presents Preakness Music & Arts Festival: Celebrating George “Spider” Anderson


George B. “Spider” ANDERSON

African American jockey George B.”Spider” Anderson was born in Baltimore in 1871.

Not much is known about Anderson; however, he is considered one of the greatest African American jockeys in horse racing history.

Anderson was the first African American jockey to win the Preakness Stakes race, which he did in 1889 riding the horse Buddhist, owned by Sam Brown. Anderson’s victory at the Preakness came 14 years after Oliver Lewis became the first Black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby and 19 years after Edward D. Brown was the first to do so in the Belmont Stakes.

Anderson, a ‘lightweight’ jockey, rode two-year-old horses of prominent owners, including August Belmont; D. D. Withers; William L. Scott; Byron McClelland; and William “Bill” Daly. Owners gave him the nickname of “Spider” because he was so small. He was known for his honesty, clever riding, and determination. Little is known about Anderson’s life.

Anderson retired as a jockey and became a co-owner of horses. Although newspapers reported accounts of Anderson’s life up until 1905, researchers continue to look for the date of his death.