Isaac Burns Murphy (1861-1896) is considered one of the all-time great jockeys in Thoroughbred racing. He was the first black jockey to be inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. Among his many credits were three wins at the Kentucky Derby and four wins at Chicago’s American Derby, the most prestigious track in the late 1800s.
By his own calculation, Isaac Murphy won 44 percent of his races. More recent statisticians who have studied his races report that his percentage is more likely 34 percent—530 wins and 1538 rides. That’s still a very impressive record. Continue reading