Racing Appreciation at the Kentucky Derby Museum

For a better understanding of the Kentucky Derby, a great place to start horse racing appreciation is the Kentucky Derby Museum located next to Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.

This museum gives guests of all ages a great overview of what to expect on Derby Day.

Did you know that the Kentucky Derby is the longest continuously-running sporting event in the country?

The first Derby dates back to 1875!

statue of horse at Kentucky Derby Museum

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Learn About All Things Derby

The Kentucky Derby Museum focuses on the many facets that relate to the Kentucky Derby. 

You’ll learn more about the jockeys, the Thoroughbreds that run at speeds over 40 miles per hour, and the racing traditions that make Derby Day a celebration embraced by people around the world.

Purchase Discounted Tickets for the Kentucky Derby Museum Here
Trophy at Kentucky Derby Museum

The Kentucky Derby Museum helps you understand the history of the longest-running continuous sporting event in the United States.

When was the First Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby began on May 17, 1875, and has been thrilling race fans for generations.

Kentucky Derby Fashion Museum

Kentucky Derby Fashion

A big part of the Kentucky Derby is the fashion. People watching the fashion of the attendees at the Kentucky Derby is almost another event in itself!

The museum shows you Derby fashion trends throughout the years that are unique works of wearable art.

Kentucky Derby Fashion is typically upscale and the bolder and brighter the better!

Most women wear dresses and hats or a fascinator decorative headpiece and most men wear a suit or blazer with a bold tie.

Kentucky Derby Museum Hats

Kentucky Derby Hats

The hats displayed on Derby Day are extremely creative!

Get inspired by the displays with Derby Day hats from previous attendees with styles ranging from classic to outrageous.

If you want to garner attention the bolder and bigger the better!

jockey silks at Kentucky Derby Museum

Learn About Jockey Silks

Not to be left out, the jockeys also have some pretty incredible bold designs for their silks representing their horse racing team. The horse owner is the one who designs their jockey silk.

If you happen to see two of the same jockey silks in the same race it’s even more impressive because that means that both horses are owned by the same owner.

The jockey silk designs are unique and each silk is registered with the Jockey Club to ensure that two different owners don’t have similar designs.

The front and back design of the silk design must be identical. The silks can have up to 2 colors on the sleeves and 2 colors on the jacket but navy blue isn’t an option.

Infield exhibit at Kentucky Derby Museum

Infield Culture on Derby Day

At the museum, you will learn about the infield culture on Derby Day which is WAY wilder than any of the traditional coverage seen on TV of The Kentucky Derby.

If you have an Infield Ticket to the Kentucky Derby you must enter through the infield gate and you won’t have a seat or view of the track.

In fact, you most likely won’t ever see TV coverage of the infield on Derby Day.

You can get a taste of the fun in the infield by creating a fun photo op with all of the props.

Jockey statue at Kentucky Derby Museum

Interactive Exhibits at the Kentucky Derby Museum

Make sure that you allow time to watch “The Greatest Race.”

It’s an 18-minute, 360-degree high-definition film that presents the history of horse racing in an immersive way that allows viewers to feel like they’re a part of the history as they watch it unfold.

The film is presented daily, 10 minutes after the hour, every hour so plan accordingly during your visit.

Kids will enjoy dressing up like jockeys, and the interactive games and displays are fun for adults and kids alike.

dirt track at Churchill Downs

Take the Guided Track Visit Tour of Churchill Downs (Home of the Kentucky Derby)

The Guided Track Visit is included with your admission to the Kentucky Derby Museum.

You’ll get the opportunity to see world-famous Churchill Downs Racetrack in person. Have your camera ready for this opportunity to see the dirt track up close from the rail.

This 25-minute tour is a must! During the tour, you’ll learn more about the history of the venue, important figures, and horses that were previous Derby winners.

The Guided Track Visit Tour is offered daily for all ages, half past every hour. The tour has around .3 miles of walking and it’s wheelchair accessible.

Specialty Tours From Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum

There are several specialty tours available to choose from that can enhance your visit even more.

Some of the tours are onsite at Churchill Downs and others are offsite.

The following tours and experiences are available for an additional fee on select days, seasonally:

  • Barn and Backside Tour
  • Superstars and Spires
  • Thoroughbred Workout Tour
  • Black Heritage in Racing Tour
  • Bourbon and Bridles Experience
  • Backstretch Workout Tour
  • Ultimate Churchill Downs Tour
  • Go Baby Go! Race Day Experience
  • Hermitage Farm and Derby Museum Tour
  • 150 Years of Derby Fashions
Horse Statue at Kentucky Derby Museum

Where is the Kentucky Derby Museum Located?

The Kentucky Derby Museum is located at 704 Central Ave., Louisville, KY, only 10 minutes from downtown Louisville.

Free parking is available for museum guests year-round and adjacent to Churchill Downs.

More Information on The Kentucky Derby Museum

You can find out more about the Kentucky Derby Museum from their website.

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