History can turn on a moment of perfect timing. Such is the story of Isaac Murphy, one of the greatest jockeys in the history of American horse racing. Isaac’s record—winning three major stakes races in a single week—still stands one-hundred and fifty years later.
It’s the kind of story I love. A boy born into slavery grows up confronting the odds of grinding labor and poverty, until one day he sees his chance and takes it. The world of horse racing changes forever.
But I’d never heard of Murphy before I happened upon his biography by Kentucky author Patsi B. Trollinger. PERFECT TIMING is written in lively fashion for young people and illustrated with arresting earth-tone paintings by Jerome Lagarrigue.
The author lives not far from the first track where Isaac Murphy raced. Come back next week to hear how she discovered this amazing story.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers in the blog comments, by email or social media.