By DAVID REED
Herald Sports Writer
The legendary 19th century jockey, who died in 1896, was removed from the Old No. 2 cemetery on East 7th St. and placed near another racing great - Man o' War.
It wasn't until yesterday, however, that Lexington, Fayette County, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the racing industry paid tribute to the jockey with the highest winning percentage in history.
Murphy rode 628 winners in his 1412 mounts, including three Kentucky Derby winners (Buchanan in 1884, Riley, 1890, and Kingman, 1891), four American Derby winners and five Latonia Derby victors, for a winning average of better than 44 per cent.
Eddie Arcaro, winner of five Kentucky Derbies was honorary chairman for the ceremonies. Arcaro, who has one of the highest win percentages in modern racing history (22 per cent), called Murphy, ". . . a man of great integrity and class. He was a man, who, if we lived at the same time, would have been a good friend of mine."
Arcaro added, "There is no chance that his record of winning will ever be surpassed. Bill Shoemaker is the best today. He has around a 24 per cent mark."
Andrew Hatcher, former press secretary to President John F. Kennedy, said "Murphy did not know of black or green power, he just did his duties with dignity.
"It is fitting that a southern state paid tribute to a Negro," he added.
Major General A. Y. Lloyd, Adjutant General of Kentucky, represented Gov. Breathitt at the ceremonies. Lloyd called the reburial something, ". . . that should have been done many years ago."
Lexington Mayor Fred Fugazzi and Fayette County Judge Joe E. Johnson praised the event as making right something in which the city and county has been remiss.
The memorial was presented by the Kentucky Club Tobacco Company.
Stuart F. Bloch, vice president of the firm, said the company was proud to present the memorial in repayment for the support of racing fans. The company sponsors a contest each year with a Kentucky Derby theme.
The ceremony was mainly the work of Frank Borries, Jr., a University of Kentucky press specialist. Borries began a search for the old gravesite of Murphy in 1958 and found the site in 1961.
The body was moved to its new resting spot near Man o' War earlier this month.
Arcaro best summed up the appropriateness of the placement fo the body in the park.
"In about 70 years, you can place my body here," he said while pointing to a piece of ground beside Murphy.