Stars of the Stands

“Stars of the Stands” was a temporary exhibit focused on how fame and celebrity transformed the Kentucky Derby into an iconic event.

The exhibit highlighted the celebrities who were involved in horse racing and attended the Derby from its infancy to Secretariat’s record-breaking run in 1973.

Visitors had the chance to experience the influence of celebrity throughout Derby history with interactive displays of artifacts, videos and rarely seen photographs. The exhibit featured celebrities from all walks of life, including those who had established their prominence in athletics, movies, television, music and politics.

Former Churchill Downs President Matt Winn turned the track from the brink of closure into a global brand after taking over in 1902, in large part by attracting the rich and famous to the Derby. Now, the red carpet at Churchill Downs is one of the premier hot spots for spotting all of Hollywood’s biggest stars.