150 Years of...

Kentucky Derby Museum is celebrating 150 years of thrills, traditions, and Derby magic! Every day is Derby day here, and there are countless ways to join the excitement at the Derby Museum.


Exclusive Track Tours

Exclusive Tours

As the exclusive public tour provider of Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby Museum offers once-in-a-lifetime tours of the track. Visit the famous "Backside" barn area where 1,400 horses are stabled, and other V.I.P. locations on the property.

Derby Merch

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New Exhibits

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New book release

One hundred and fifty years have passed since the Thoroughbreds of the inaugural Kentucky Derby sprang from the starting gate to race beneath the iconic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. But the story of the greatest two minutes in sports is more than the pageantry of the horses and thrill of the people who love and celebrate the event. Through a personal tour of 75 objects from the Museum, The History of the Kentucky Derby in 75 Objects sets out to recover the accurate history of America's longest continuously held sporting event and establish a balance between well-known narratives and those that are less widely shared.

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Where it all began

The first running of the Kentucky Derby in 1875 has its roots in the Epsom Derby. In 1873, Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark traveled abroad to study how horseracing was done, and was inspired after attending the Epsom Derby. Upon his return home, he founded the Louisville Jockey Club where the first Kentucky Derby was run on May 17, 1875. Clark brought with him the Epsom tradition of going to the races to see and be seen, modern track rules and regulations, new ways of wagering, and a beautiful clubhouse and grandstand.

Today, the Kentucky Derby is the longest continual running sporting event in the United States. In 2024, we will be celebrating its 150th anniversary.

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