Isaac Burns Murphy was the First Person to Ever Win Three Kentucky Derbies

Isaac Burns Murphy
Although horse racing is commonly regarded as an outdated sport for gamblers, there is a proud history behind the sport that dates all the way back to 1651. Out of the thousands of jockeys who have ridden on horseback to victory, one name stands out and belongs to who many believe is the greatest jockey of all time: Isaac Burns Murphy. 
According to Kentucky Horse Park, Murphy was born to a former slave in 1861. As he grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, Murphy began his career among many other African American jockeys. Britannica states that Murphy's winning percentage came out to 44% — over 16% more successful than the racing records of his time!

KHS (referenced earlier) points out that Murphy won the Kentucky Derby three times, the Latonia Derby five times, and four of the first five runnings of the American Derby. There were times when Murphy was offered bribes to allow other jockeys to win in certain races, but Murphy proved his integrity to the sport, refusing the bribes.

Murphy's life was cut short by pneumonia at 36 years old. But his legacy was never forgotten, and he became the first American jockey to be elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The previously mentioned article shares that Murphy's body was laid to rest near the burial site of the famous racehorse Man O' War.