By Sheldon Shafer, Courier Journal
Isaac MurphyThe Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs has opened a traveling exhibit on jockey Isaac Burns Murphy as part of Black History Month.

Murphy was the first black jockey to be enshrined into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. He won three Kentucky Derby races – aboard Buchanan in 1884, Riley in 1890 and Kingman in 1891.

The exhibit, on the second floor in the Pollard Gallery, is based on the biography of Murphy recently written by Pellom McDaniels. The exhibit features a series of panels that explore the contributions of not only Murphy but also other African Americans to horse racing.

McDaniels, as assistant professor of African American Studies at Emory University in Georgia, will be at the museum from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 to discuss and autograph the book, titled “The Prince of Jockeys: the Life of Isaac Burns Murphy.”

Viewing the exhibit comes with regular museum admission. The special book signing event is free, but reservations are requested and can be made through the museum website, www.derbymuseum.org. The exhibit runs through May 31.

If you go:

  • What: Discussion and book signing of “The Prince of Jockeys: the Life of Isaac Burns Murphy”
  • Where: The Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs
  • When: Feb. 22, 4-6:30 p.m.
  • Reservations: The book signing event is free, but reservations are requested and can be made through the museum website, www.derbymuseum.org