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Kentucky Derby Museum

Girl Scout Summer Sleepover

Posted: June 27th, 2014


For the first time, the Derby Museum is hosting a sleepover! Available for Brownies, Juniors & Cadettes (Ages 7-14), the sleepover includes: Twilight Tour of Churchill Downs, “Women in Racing” education program, Museum Mystery Scavenger Hunt in the exhibits, Screening of “Secretariat” in the Great Hall, Breakfast at the Spires & Thoroughbred morning workouts!

July 24, 2014, 6pm - 8:45am
$30 per scout, $20 per adult

For more information, click here to download our flyer or contact Ronnie Dreistadt at

Registration ends July 11, 2014, 50 scout maximum

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Mayor announces cultural pass for children

Posted: May 28th, 2014

From Mayor’s Press Office

LOUISVILLE, KY – Children and students can visit some of the region’s greatest cultural organizations for free this summer, thanks to the creation of the new Cultural Pass for Children that was suggested during the Vision Louisville initiative, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.

The pass, a collaboration between Metro Government and cultural partners to address the importance of arts education in Louisville, admits one child/student (ages 0 through college) to attractions as diverse as the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft to the Kentucky Derby Museum to Yew Dell Gardens. If the child is under 16, one parent or guardian is also admitted.

Children who get their pass stamped by at least eight different institutions this summer will be eligible for a grand prize, a family package of tickets to the Lion King Broadway musical, coming in March 2015 and donated by Broadway Across America. There is also a draw for first prize, Mayor Fischer’s suite at Louisville Slugger Field for one game.

The pass was one of the 80,000 ideas that citizens submitted last year as part of the Vision Louisville initiative, in which residents envisioned how the city should look, feel and flow over the next 30 years. University of Louisville Professor Nat Irvin and his creativity team of Vision Louisville suggested the idea for the pass.

“We know that children who are exposed to the arts and cultural events do better in school — and better in life,” Fischer said. “This pass is a great way for parents to take their children to our city’s top attractions all for free — and a perfect way to combat summer learning loss.”

Children and parents can pick up a pass (a punch card) from their local Louisville Free Public Library branch or Metro Parks Community Center starting June 9. The pass is good through August 13.

The pass allows general admission access to one child and chaperon (if the child is under 16). Only one visit per pass per institution will be allowed. Special exhibits and programs are not included with the pass.

Participating arts group and organizations include:

American Printing House for the Blind Museum
Bernheim Arboretum
Carnegie Center for Art & History
Crane House - Asia Institute
Filson Historical Society
Historic Locust Grove
Kentucky Derby Museum
Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft
Kentucky Shakespeare
Louisville Youth Choir
Stage One Family Theatre
Yew Dell Gardens
Other organizations are likely to be added before the first passes are available on June 9.

The Cultural Pass was the joint planning work of Vision Louisville and officials from Actor’s Theatre, The Kentucky Center, The Fund for the Arts, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and Greater Louisville Inc. Arts and Cultural Committee.

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Posted: May 5th, 2014

Time: 2:03.66, fast track
Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Trainer: Art Sherman
Owners/Breeders: Steven Coburn & Perry Martin

A crowd of 164,906 assembled on a sunny, May 3rd to watch California Chrome in the second largest Derby crowd in its 140-year history. Sent off as the 5-2 post time favorite, California Chrome trained by 77-year-old Art Sherman sat right off a moderate pace set by Uncle Sigh and Chitu, and took command as they approached the top of the stretch holding off a late charge from 37-1 longshot Commanding Curve who finished second, Danza took the show spot.

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Kentucky Derby Museum Gala kicks off Derby Week on Friday, April 25th as a SOLD OUT event

Posted: April 25th, 2014


The 28th annual Derby Museum Gala transforms again this year with changes.

Celebrating the history of The Greatest Race ™ with a black tie affair, this year the gala will be held entirely inside the Derby Museum. The event is limited to 45 tables that accommodate up to eight guests each, which will be dispersed throughout the museum in the Derby Café, the Carl Pollard Room, the second floor balcony and the tent located in the museum’s Oaks Garden Terrace. The first floor exhibit areas and the Great Hall will be used for people to socialize, dance and enjoy cocktails.

Gala begins at 7:00 PM with cocktails and dinner will be served at 8:30. Live entertainment and dance music is provided by “The Rupert’s Orchestra” from Atlanta, Georgia. The band covers a variety of different genres of music ranging from Motown, to swing and rock and roll. Several surprise elements in décor and entertainment await guests of the evening.

Tickets for the event were sold for $400 per person. All money raised from the Gala will go toward benefitting the Kentucky Derby Museum’s Outreach Education Program. The Museum’s education programs reach more than 60,000 children each year in grades K-12 with classes and resources pertaining to the Kentucky Derby and the equine industry as a whole.

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Kentucky Derby Museum shows fun side of Derby with new Horse Play Exhibit

Posted: April 9th, 2014

Opening April 14th, Horse Play will highlight the playful side of the Kentucky Derby featuring nearly 60 historic equine toys, digital interactives and music created exclusively for the museum. Drawing from over 140 years of history, Horse Play uses artifacts, games, photographs and videos to capture the engaging, curious and exciting event the Derby is today through the use of toys.

Created as a hands-on game experience, Horse Play will explore the sense of play that is a true part of the world’s greatest racing event. Visitors will activate the sights and sounds around them progressing from a history of horse toys and games to oversized versions of the artifacts themselves. As a ‘you can touch’ museum, guests are invited to engage their senses and play in the space while listening to the original music compositions created by the local musicians of Whistle Peak.

The museum has purchased a circa-1970’s, coin-operated, Kentucky Derby-themed carousel ride to become a permanent mainstay of the museum for this exhibit. Additional artifacts displayed in the exhibit range from bobbleheads, dolls and racing games to wooden horses and board games. Many of the featured items are on loan from collaborating partners including the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and the Ken Grayson Collection. Additional digital displays are contributed by KET and The Courier-Journal.

The exhibit is included in general admission and will be open to the public every day from Monday, April 14th through December 31, 2014 on the museum’s second floor in the Matt Winn Gallery.

Media images can be found here courtesy of Kentucky Derby Museum:

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2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird returns to the Kentucky Derby Museum

Posted: March 5th, 2014



135th Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will return to greet fans at the Kentucky Derby Museum this spring. The 2009 longshot will return to the museum for about three weeks in promotion of the upcoming film “50 to 1” which is based on the eight-year-old gelding’s shocking upset victory in the Derby five years ago.

On Thursday, April 17th at 10:00 a.m., a press event for the “50 to 1” movie will take place in the museum’s Great Hall (museum guests are invited to watch with paid admission) followed by media photo-ops with the movie team, real Derby winning team and Mine That Bird in the museum’s stable area.

“50 to 1” opens in Kentucky theaters on April 18th, directed by Jim Wilson with key roles of trainer and owner played by actors Skeet Ulrich (As Good As It Gets, The Newton Boys and Chill Factor) and Christian Kane (Taxi and Friday Night Lights) respectively. Jockey Calvin Borel plays himself in the film.

At 11:30 that morning, the museum will host a free poster signing and meet and greet with fans in the museum’s back garden tent. Mine that Bird will be available for guests to see at the same time until 4:00 p.m. that day.

On Friday, April 18th, Mine That Bird will ship to Keeneland for an appearance at the track before the races and he will be available for fans to see at the Kentucky Derby Museum’s “It’s My Derby” event hosted at Keeneland that evening, along with 2003 winner Funny Cide.

Mine That Bird will return to the Kentucky Derby Museum’s garden area on Saturday, April 19th and remain until May 10th. He will be available to guests with paid, museum admission. His appearance is made possible only with the help and generosity of his owner Mark Allen of Double Eagle Ranch in Roswell, New Mexico and Dr. Leonard Blach of Buena Suerte Equine. Bird earned $2,228,637 during his career with a second place finish in the Preakness Stakes behind champion filly Rachel Alexandra and a third place effort behind Summer Bird and Dunkirk in the Belmont Stakes.

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Posted: January 29th, 2014


Feature film about Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, an inspiring underdog tale of misfit cowboys and their long shot racehorse, starring Skeet Ulrich, Christian Kane, William Devane, Madelyn Deutch, Todd Lowe and jockey Calvin Borel.

Hollywood, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2014) — The cast and filmmakers of ‘50 to 1’ will hit the road rock-star style on a cross-country tour beginning March 17 to promote the major motion picture’s release, says the film’s producer, director and co-writer Jim Wilson, Oscar®-winning producer of ‘Dances with Wolves.’

“We’re bringing ‘50 to 1’ to the people of America,” Wilson says. “The group will travel in a tour bus from New Mexico to Kentucky, making stops in cities and towns along the way, mirroring the trip racehorse Mine That Bird took on his way to the 2009 Kentucky Derby.

Cast members joining the tour will be Skeet Ulrich (Jericho, ‘Scream,’ ‘As Good As It Gets’), Christian Kane (Leverage, ‘Friday Night Lights,’ ‘Secondhand Lions,’ ‘Just Married’), Todd Lowe (True Blood, ‘The Princess Diaries,’ Gilmore Girls) and Hugo Perez (‘Machete,’ ‘The Longshots,’ ‘Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay’). Also on tour will be Wilson and co-producer, co-writer Faith Conroy. The real Mine That Bird will make special appearances along the tour.

“When was the last time Hollywood’s leading men hopped on a bus and toured the country from town to town, introducing their film to the people of America?” Wilson says. “It’s unprecedented.”
Read more »

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Horsing Around with Art Award Winners

Posted: January 22nd, 2014


Abby Moore • Mercy Academy • Grade 11

“It is really surreal that I won. I was literally shocked that I placed better than some of my other classmates! It is an honor to win, and I am happy with how my piece turned out! I am really excited to take some of my family and friends to the derby this year, I have always wanted to go! Derby is one of my favorite times of year, because every seven years my birthday falls on the same day, and because I love horses! It will definitely be a different experience in person compared to just watching it on tv. I am really excited to pick out a dress and a unique hat! I did not expect to win, but it definitely made me happy when you told me I did. Thank you so much for seeing such potential in my piece!! -Abby Moore ”

Anna Hennis • Assumption High School • Grade 12

Bethany Wethington • Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary • Grade 4

Taylor O’Neil • Mercy Academy • Grade 11

Victoria Horn • Carter Traditional Elementary • Grade 5

Winner will be notified at the end of the exhibition.


Primary Winners
1st Place - Lydia Elmore • Rangeland Elementary • Grade 3
2nd Place - Lilly Glazier • Friends Schoo • Grade 2
3rd Place - Sunghoon Go • Wilkerson Traditional Elementary • Grade 3

Intermediate Winners
1st Place - Grace Medley • St. Nicholas Academy • Grade 5
2nd Place - Trace Schamel • Stonestreet Elementary • Grade 5
3rd Place - Haley Fitz • Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary • Grade 4

Middle School Winners
1st Place - Maggie Michael • Barret Traditional Middle School • Grade 8
2nd Place - Brenna Schoenbachler • St. Bernard • Grade 8
3rd Place - Julie Nguyen • St. Nicholas Academy • Grade 8

High School Winners
1st Place - Matthew Sherman • Christian Academy of Louisville • Grade 12
2nd Place - John Faughender • Butler Traditional High School • Grade 12
3rd Place - Romello Henderson • Pleasure Ridge Park High School • Grade 12

Sculpture Award Winners
Grades 1-8 - Alex Dossett • Stonestreet Elementary • Grade 5
Grades 9-12 - Ashley Crouch • Christian Academy of Louisville • Grade 12


Primary Division
Alexander Gottfried • Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary • Grade 3
Charles Taylor III • Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary • Grade 3
Darcy Diaz • Rangeland Elementary • Grade 3
Dionna Young • Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary • Grade 3
Emily Kulp • St. Nicholas Academy • Grade 2
Erin Jacobs • Rangeland Elementary • Grade 1
Jack Christensen • Friends School • Grade 2
Jerimiah Collins • Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary • Grade 3
Kaylynn Berry • St. Nicholas Academy • Grade 2
Madilyn McCarthy • Wilkerson Traditional Elementary • Grade 3
Paris Lowery • Price Elementary • Grade 3
Sarah Breslin • Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary • Grade 3

Intermediate Division
Bethany Wethington • Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary • Grade 4
Caleb Snadon • Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary • Grade 5
David Surface • Carter Traditional Elementary • Grade 5
Jamarion Smith • Rangeland Elementary • Grade 4
Jayden Wickliffe • Stonestreet Elementary • Grade 5
Jordyn Coyle • Rangeland Elementary • Grade 4
Kennedy Hardison • Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary • Grade 5
Madison Glover • Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary • Grade 4
Re’anna Calloway • Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary • Grade 5
Santasia Mason • Wheatley Elementary • Grade 5
Tyler Brown • Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary • Grade 5
Victoria Horn • Carter Traditional Elementary • Grade 5

Middle School Division
Cameryn Oswald • St. Bernard • Grade 7
Chas Pemberton • St. Gabriel School • Grade 7
Darren Hollenkamp • Holy Family Catholic School • Grade 6
Emily Spicer • St. Nicholas Academy • Grade 8
Hannah Price • St. Bernard • Grade 8
Jason Higdon • St. Nicholas Academy • Grade 6
Kadie Fahnbulleh • Holy Family Catholic School • Grade 6
Katie Kimery • St. Bernard • Grade 7
Matthew Caldwell • St. Bernard • Grade 8
May Willcox • St. Nicholas Academy • Grade 6
Rachel Barber • St. Agnes • Grade 6
Sarah Rhodes • St. Francis of Assisi • Grade 7

High School Division
Andea Compton • Pleasure Ridge Park High School • Grade 11
Andria Meyers • Christian Academy of Louisville • Grade 11
Carsen Bryant • Mercy Academy • Grade 11
Clara Ruplinger • Louisville Male High School • Grade 12
Elijah Goesmann • Pleasure Ridge Park High School • Grade 11
Emma Goble • Atherton High School • Grade 12
Kelsey Goodman • Mercy Academy • Grade 11
Melanie Kaelin • Pleasure Ridge Park High School • Grade 11
Raquel Masterson • Atherton High School • Grade 9
Rena • Maryhurst Academy • Grade 10
Sarah Kinslow • Pleasure Ridge Park High School • Grade 12
Shaley Cochran • Ballard High School • Grade 9

If your student’s name is not stated on this list, he or she has received a Certificate of Participation for entering in the contest. This will be presented when the artwork is returned to the school this spring.

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Kentucky Derby Museum Opens Research Library and Shares Digital Collections

Posted: December 4th, 2013

The Kentucky Derby Museum announces a new opportunity for researchers to access more than 10,000 collection items as they relate to Kentucky Derby history. The Colonel Clark Library houses items dating back to the mid-19th century providing extensive resources through books, newspapers, magazines and manuscripts and it will now be open for the first time as a publicly accessible research center.

The centerpiece of the Colonel Clark Library is the collection of Jim Bolus, long-time sports writer, historian and renowned expert on the Kentucky Derby. The Bolus Collection consists of thousands of research files, printed materials and recorded interviews covering the sport of Thoroughbred racing from 1875 to 1995. The Library also houses primary documents on the history of Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby since its inaugural running in 1875 and approximately 3,000 published volumes which include noted Thoroughbred industry publications such as The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times and the Daily Racing Form.

In addition to the new library, the museum has begun digitizing pieces of the artifact collection. Interested researchers can now access a searchable database by clicking on the “collections” tab under “about us” on our website, then clicking “search our collection”. More than 2500 items archival and research items have been added to the online database to date and this resource is updated regularly with additional images and content. More than 10,000 artifacts are housed in the Kentucky Derby Museum’s collection in addition to the more than 10,000 research items.

The library is open on Tuesdays during the museum’s normal operating hours, free of charge and also available by appointment. The library is staffed by museum research personnel. Research items are readily accessible but may not leave the premises as this is not a ‘lending’ library.

For research inquiries, members of the public may contact the museum’s curator of collections, Chris Goodlett at 502-637-1111, ext. 259 or

Read Chris Goodlett’s blog entry: “On What a Curator Does: Helping You Find Your Story

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2013 Kentucky Derby Winner, Orb will stand at stud at Claiborne farm in 2014

Posted: November 5th, 2013

Announced the morning of November 5, 2013, this year’s Kentucky Derby Winner has been retired from racing and will enter stud at Claiborne Farm in 2014.

According to a news release from Claiborne Farm, “The decision to retire Orb was made with mixed emotions,” said co-owner Stuart S. Janney III. “While I believe he would have had a very successful 4-year-old campaign, and Phipps Stable and I would have loved being a part of that, Orb is a wonderful stallion prospect. We look forward to supporting him and to racing his offspring.”

2013 Derby Winning trainer, Claude R. (Shug) McGaughey said, “I was quietly very confident on Derby day, and he proved without a doubt what kind of a horse he was in a race of great magnitude. He is retiring completely sound, and while I’m sorry to see him move on, it seems like an opportune time for him to begin his next career.”

The Derby winner and multiple Grade 1 winner will stand for $25,000. Orb was foaled and raised at Claiborne Farm fro owner/breeders Janney and Phipps. Orb earned $2,612,516 with five wins and three placings from 12 starts.

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