Kentucky Derby Museum Stable

Free to visit! No Museum ticket required.

Located on the Oaks Garden Terrace

Mighty Aristides “Ari”

Mighty Aristides
  • Miniature Horse: 30 inches tall
  • Born February 11, 2020
  • Adopted from Meaningful Menagerie Animal Therapy in Louisville

Hi there! My name’s Mighty Aristides, but everyone around here calls me “Ari.” I’m named after Aristides, winner of the first ever Kentucky Derby in 1875! And I live up to my name with a mighty big personality.

I’m often mistaken for a pony, but I’m actually a Miniature Horse. We’re bred to look like a full-sized horse on a smaller scale. We make great companions, and that’s my job here – to provide support and friendship for the Museum’s Resident Thoroughbred. My favorite pastimes are eating, snacking, playing, and going on walks. Oh, and did I mention treats?

When I was a baby, I wasn’t properly cared for and was pretty underweight. Meaningful Menagerie Animal Therapy nursed me back to health, and now I’m a star at the Kentucky Derby Museum! I even have my own Fan Club you can join! You’ll get my latest shenanigans sent straight to your phone or email.

Join Ari's Fan Club!

Our adorable miniature horse, Ari, wants to be friends!

Since arriving at the Museum in June 2022, Ari has stolen the hearts of guests who stop by the Stable and his growing fanbase on social media. The club will provide Ari’s adoring fans with regular updates on the little guy’s life, pictures and videos of his shenanigans, along with an inside look at the Museum’s Stable.


Classic Smile or “Smiley”

Classic Smile
  • Retired Thoroughbred racehorse
  • Born March 30, 1998
  • Last raced in 2002 at Northampton in MA

Greetings!  I’m the Resident Thoroughbred at Kentucky Derby Museum. My name is Classic Smile, but everyone around here just calls me Smiley! :)

Not only am I a very handsome bay gelding, I had a pretty successful racing career back in my day, too! I had 24 starts with 3 first place, 1 second place, and 4 third place finishes. Not too shabby, if you ask me!

Through a partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, the Museum serves as a temporary home for a rotating roster of retired racehorses. I get to greet all my adoring fans for a few months, then I’ll be off on my next adventure.

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Amanda, Equine Manager

Amanda Graham

Hi, we’re Amanda and Diane! We take care of the Stable, Ari, and the Resident Thoroughbred every day of the week. We take the horses on daily walks around beautiful Churchill Downs, plan regular enrichment activities for them, and spoil them rotten. We love answering guests’ questions about the horses. Stop by and say hello!

Diane, Equine Assistant

Diane Richardson

The Stable Exhibit

The Stable exhibit
  • Located on the Oaks Garden Terrace
  • FREE to visit! No Museum ticket required
  • Educational Programming available: Book a field trip including a stop at the Stable!

The Stable Exhibit is located outside the Museum by the Oaks Garden Terrace and is FREE to visit! No Museum ticket required. Please note, the Museum welcomes the public to take photos and videos of the animals, but visitors are not allowed to pet or interact with the horses for their safety and the safety of guests.

The Stable has been part of the Museum experience since the Museum opened in 1985.

Over the years, the miniature horse and Thoroughbred have been a special part of romantic engagement proposals, breathtaking wedding photos, thousands of field trips, and each guest’s visit to the Museum.


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