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Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville, KY

 

  • View of The Barbaro Memorial Statue
  • Interior View of the Kentucky Derby Museum
  • View of the Jockey Stories Exhibit
  • View of the Derby Hat Exhibit
  • Interior View of the Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Interior View of the Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Interior View of the Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Interior View of the Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Interior View of the Kentucky Derby Museum
  • View of the Birth, First Year, Bloodlines Exhibit
  • View of the Riders Up Exhibit
  • Interior View of the Kentucky Derby Museum
  • View of The Great Hall

Celebrate the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” at one of Louisville’s premiere attractions, the Kentucky Derby Museum as part of this group motorcoach vacation package.  Sitting on the front steps of historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, the Kentucky Derby Museum is an American Thoroughbred horse racing museum established in 1985. Warmly welcoming over 210,000 visitors each year, the Kentucky Derby Museum offers a firsthand look at the Kentucky Derby providing visitors with a lasting impression of traditions, hospitality and pride. 

 

Visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum

During your visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum, learn about the rich history and timeless traditions of the Kentucky Derby and Thoroughbred racing and see “The Greatest Race,” a unique presentation that will put you in the heart of the Kentucky Derby action. Then enjoy a historic 30-minute guided tour of Churchill Downs which includes a visit with equine residents in Churchill Downs’ backyard paddock.

Exhibits

Two floors of exciting exhibits will take you through the journey from the birth of the foal to the winner’s circle. Hear personal accounts of Kentucky Derby fans that will take you back in time, or climb on the Museum’s replica horse in the starting gate and have your photo taken.

First Floor Exhibits

It’s My Derby

Listen to the personal accounts from fans about their favorite Derby memories in the It’s My Derby exhibit. Some accounts which have been archived throughout the community are so vivid you will be able to visualize the fond memories as if they were your own.  This area also features Derby hats from the Museum’s annual hat contest and Derby outfits once worn by Anna Nicole Smith, Penny Chenery and Bill Samuels as well as other pieces that share the fun of fashion at the Kentucky Derby.

The Winner’s Circle

Step into the Winner’s Circle and have your photo taken. Trophies in this exhibit explore the winners of past Kentucky Derbies.

My Spot

Get ready for the Derby in My Spot. This exhibit explores the many ways in which one can participate in and enjoy the Derby whether it be from Millionaires Row or the infamous Infield.

Warner L. Jones, Jr. Time Machine

Explore the rich history of the Kentucky Derby.  Film footage of the Kentucky Derby that dates back to 1918 is included in this exhibit. In addition to the footage are interviews with the winning jockeys, trainers and Thoroughbred owners. 

Riders Up

Experience what the Derby is like for jockeys. In Riders Up, mount a simulated horse and see if you can maintain the jockey’s stance for two minutes, the time it takes to run the 1.25 mile track at Churchill Downs.

Callers

See the difficulties the announcer is faced with on Derby Day. Step inside the Museum’s sound-proof both, watch the video screen and speak into the microphone as you attempt to call a race in this immersive exhibit.

“The Greatest Race”

“The Greatest Race,” a 360-degree-high-defintion presentation is the first of its kind and puts you at the heart of all the Derby action. This unique presentation is updated each June in order to capture recent Kentucky Derby victory. 

Test Your Derby IQ

This interactive exhibit challenges your knowledge of the Derby and its timeless traditions. Play against the clock or in groups for the title of Derby Expert.

Second Floor

Birth, First Year, Bloodlines

Told from the viewpoint of the breeder himself, Birth, First Year, Bloodlines explores the birth of foals and the daily life of yearlings on a thoroughbred farm. Learn about the breeding process, the optimal time for the birth of a foal and what makes a Thoroughbred a winner.

Owners: Making Their Mark

See what it is like to own a Thoroughbred in Owners: Making Their Mark. This unique exhibit lets you create your own silks and provides information on the naming process of a Thoroughbred. Recordings of the owner’s reflections on the Kentucky Derby and the horse racing experience are also available for you to listen to.

Jockey Stories

Trained to control an animal that is often 10 times their weight, jockeys are unarguably the strongest athletes. Try on some silks and learn all about what being a jockey entails.

Starting Gate

Once you have learned about the duties of a jockey, you will be ready to race. Climb up the starting gate and take your place on the Museum’s replica horse for a unique photo opportunity.

Churchill Downs

Included in your Museum experience is a 30-minute guided tour of historic Churchill Downs. As you visit the Grandstand, Clubhouse, Finish Line and Winners Circle, a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide will interpret the rich history and timeless traditions of Churchill Downs.  In addition you will have the opportunity to meet retired pony horse Puddin’ and miniature horse Winston. 

Shopping in Finish Line Gift Shop

Be sure to stop by the Kentucky Derby gift shop within the Museum. Gifts and Souvenirs unique to the Kentucky Derby are available to purchase. Take home Kentucky Derby hats, or a book to learn more about the pageantry and thrill of the Derby.  


Travel Tips

-          In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Kentucky Derby Museum features rotating exhibits in the Matt Winn Gallery on the second floor of the Museum.

 

-          “The Greatest Race,” plays at 10 minutes past the hour, every hour.

 

-          Remember your camera. There will be once in a lifetime photo opportunities inside the Kentucky Derby Museum and during your guided tour of Churchill Downs.

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