The public has been invited to attend the dedication of a monument to Isaac Murphy, famous 19th Century jockey from Lexington, in Man o' War Park on Huffman Mill Road at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
The remains of the Hall of Fame rider, whose record of 628 winners in 1,412 races may never be equalled, have been removed from an unmarked and neglected grave in the now abandoned old "No. 2 Cemetery" on Seventh Street and reburied alongside the path that leads to the monument of Kentucky's famed thoroughbred.
Eddie Arcaro, the great jockey of this century who was the first man to equal Murphy's 57 year-old mark of three Kentucky Derby victories, heads a list of dignitaries who will take part in the dedication ceremonies.
They will include Mayor Fred Fugazzi, County Judge Joe Johnson III, John Cooke, president of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, Maj. Gen. A. Y. Lloyd, representing Gov. Edward T. Breathitt, Bert Thompson, national executive secretary of the Jockey's Guild, and Stuart F. Bloch, vice-president of the Kentucky Club Tobacco Co.
It was Mr. Bloch who proposed the idea of removing Murphy, who died in 1896 in his early thirties, to a place of honor as a racing great. His firm, which for the past 14 years has conducted a racehorse giveaway contest, assumed all of the costs of the project.
In addition to winning three Kentucky Derbies, aboard Buchanan in 1884, Riley in 1890 and Kingman the following year, the legendary Murphy also won four American Derbies and five Latonia Derbies.
He was one of the most admired and best-liked riders of his day, because he combined exceptional skill with fidelity, honesty and modesty. He was born on the farm of David Tanner in Fayette County. His father, James Burns, was a free man who died as a military prisoner during the Civil War.
The dedication here on Thursday has attracted national attention and many major newspapers as well as press services throughout the country are printing stories about Murphy this week. Many of the nation's best known sports writers who are in Kentucky for the 93rd running of the Derby will be in Lexington on Thursday.