Isaac Burns Murphy, Ike Murphy

Isaac Murphy, jockey, cigarette card, Old Judge & Gypsy Queen Cigarettes (Photo in the public domain; Library of Congress)

Isaac Burns Murphy (1861–1896), also known as Ike Murphy, a Hall of Fame jockey who is considered the greatest jockey of the nineteenth century, was the first person to win three Kentucky Derbies—in 1884, 1890, and 1891.

Born to free black parents in Fayette County, Kentucky, and raised in Lexington, Isaac started racing in 1875. He is known for being one of the first jockeys to pace his mount for a charge down the homestretch—a technique now known as the "grandstand finish." He rode upright and never used a whip, instead urging his horse with words and spurs. He died from pneumonia at the age of thirty-six. In 1955, he was the first jockey to be elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

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