Black Heritage in Racing Tour

Saturdays, on non-racing days

Kentucky Derby Museum is honored to participate in Louisville Tourism’s Unfiltered Truth Collection. In 2021, the Museum enlarged its Black Heritage in Racing Exhibit and moved it to a prominent location on the first floor. This move was done thanks to generous sponsorship by the James Graham Brown Foundation and Churchill Downs. While the exhibit has been a part of the Museum since 1993, this move was necessary to pay proper homage to the many African Americans who played an integral role throughout the history of the Kentucky Derby and Thoroughbred racing.

On the Black Heritage in Racing Tour, you’ll discover some of the most important African American figures in horse racing - from the jockey only known as Simon to two-time Derby winner Jimmy Winkfield. You’ll also visit locations throughout Churchill Downs while hearing about their incredible legacy. The tour wraps up in the Black Heritage in Racing Exhibit where you’ll learn how African American trainers, horse owners, and jockeys continue to shape the future of racing today.

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View the entire Black Heritage in Racing Collection

Black Heritage in Racing Tour Times

  • Saturdays, on non-race days
  • Begins at 1:00 p.m. (please arrive early as space is limited)
  • All times are in Eastern Daylight Time

Black Heritage in Racing Tour Details

  • 90 minutes

  • $35 per person

  • Approximately 4.8 furlongs of walking (.6 miles)

  • All ages

  • Includes General Admission to Museum and a viewing of our epic 360°  film, “The Greatest Race”

Please note: Exciting construction projects are underway at Churchill Downs! For the safety of guests, tours may be re-routed at times.

Important Information for Your Tour

A new experience at the Kentucky Derby Museum!

My husband and I were given passes to the Black Heritage in Racing Tour. While the tour ended inside the Museum, which allows you to visit this extraordinary space, the tour itself is on the Churchill Downs grounds. We visited the paddock, 4th floor Stakes Room, finish line, Twin Spires and other sections. Our tour guide was fantastic! She was as energetic and shared interesting information. Her passion about the jockeys and the conditions they faced was evident.

— Lorie L., Louisville, KY
October, 2021



Traveling Black Heritage in Racing exhibit

Black Heritage in Racing Traveling Exhibit

The Black Heritage in Racing traveling exhibit serves as a companion piece to the Black Heritage in Racing permanent exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Beginning in the era of settler colonialism in what would eventually become the United States, the exhibit details how enslaved Africans laid the foundation for horse racing in this part of the world. The exhibit continues by showing how crucial Black Americans were to the early success of the Kentucky Derby; how the era of segregation and Jim Crow drove African Americans from the industry; telling the stories of Black Americans that served as primary caretakers for horses in the 20th century and detailing the initiatives of the Black community to increase the participation of African Americans in the industry in the modern era.

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Black Heritage in Racing Collection