PPAATH is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of African Americans in Thoroughbred racing. This project illuminates the lost and forgotten history of acclaimed Horsemen from past centuries who contributed to the early foundation of our nation’s “First National Pastime.” With this endeavor, PPAATH along with our supporters have partnered to inspire, inform, and educate children and adults alike about the History, Heritage, and Legacy of America’s “First Great Athletes.”
African American contributions to Derby recognized
Did you know? The inaugural running of the Kentucky Derby was won by Oliver Lewis in 1875, an African American jockey from Fayette, County KY. In fact, 13 of the 15 jockeys in the first Kentucky Derby were black and African American jockeys won 15 of the first 28 running’s of this world-renowned sporting event.
Isaac Murphy, the son of a former slave, was the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby on three occasions (1884 “Buchanan”, 1890 “Riley” and 1891 “Kingman”), the first jockey inducted into horse-racing’s Hall of Fame and the only jockey to have won the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, and the Clark Handicap in the same year (1884). Murphy is widely considered one of the greatest American jockeys in the sport’s history. His 44% career win rate remains an all-time record. An industry award with his namesake is given each year to the jockey with the highest wining percentage.
The Isaac Murphy Derby Experience and Image Awards hosted by the Project to Preserve African American Turf History (PPAATH) and the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH), recognizes influential African-Americans in Business, Sports, Education and Entertainment that have made significant contributions to history in their own right.
This high-profile event is centered around Derby fashion, local and national musical entertainment, art and history.