1914 - 1995
Charter Inductee - 1961
Johnny Adams was a three-time United States champion jockey (1937, 1942, and 1943) and only the fourth American jockey to reach 3,000 wins during his career. The "Iola Mite" had the unique reputation of beginning his riding career without the benefit of an apprentice allowance. Adams rode his first race at age 15 at the fairgrounds in Uniontown, Kansas in 1929. He won his first race in major competition at Riverside Park in Kansas City, Missouri in 1934 on "Marble Girl". In 1954, he rode "Hasty Road" to a win in the Preakness Stakes and a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Adams won the 1939 Santa Anita Handicap on "Kayak II" in what he later called his most memorable race. His twenty-four-year professional career ended in 1958 with a record of 3,270 wins, 2,704 seconds and 2,635 thirds in 20,159 mounts for purse winnings of nearly $10 million. Following retirement, Adams spent many years as a public trainer on the Pacific coast. Johnny Adams was inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame in 1965. Born September 1, 1914 - Carlisle, Arkansas. Died August 19, 1995 - Arcadia, California. Moved to Iola, Kansas as a child. Attended Union School in Allen County, KS.