Wednesday February 28, 2024
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Photo: Kentucky Derby Museum. The Justify Triple Crown Art Collection
Mike Smith and Bob Baffert Signed Justify Commemorative Artwork

The Official Justify Triple Crown Print features Justify winning the 150th Belmont Stakes and joining the “ranks of the immortals” as the 13th Triple Crown champion. The print is officially licensed by WinStar Farm and Triple Crown Productions and created by renowned international sporting artist Graeme Baxter and features special editions signed by Mike Smith and Bob Baffert.

Artist Graeme Baxter will be signing Official Justify artwork at the Derby Museum on October 29th from 11:00am to 3:00pm in conjunction with the Makers Mark Justify Bottle signing festivities.

The Justify Triple Signed Special Edition ($295) is individually signed in bronze metallic ink by two time Triple Crown winning trainer Bob Baffert, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and artist Graeme Baxter. This Triple Signed Special Edition is strictly limited to an edition of 150 fine art prints and measures 18” x 24. Orders for this special limited edition will be taken on a first come, first served basis.

The Justify Dual Signed Limited Edition ($180) is signed in pencil by two time Triple Crown winning trainer Bob Baffert and artist Graeme Baxter. It is limited to an edition of 500 fine art prints. The print also measures 18”x24”.

The Justify Triple Crown Art Collection will be displayed during Breeders Cup week in Louisville at Equestricon, Booth 500 on October 29th and 30th as well as at a special Breeders Cup Festival Pop-Up Gallery at the downtown Marriott, the official Host Hotel from October 31 through November 3.

Graeme Baxter has been designated Official Artist for some of the most prestigious sporting events in the world including The Ryder Cup, The Open Championship, The PGA Championship, Wimbledon Tennis and The Triple Crowns of both American Pharoah and Justify.

In 2015, Bob and Jill Baffert commissioned Baxter to paint two portraits of American Pharoah, and the Bafferts have again honored him in 2018 by commissioning him to create two portraits of Justify for their private collection.

The 2018 Breeders’ Cup will be held at Churchill Downs November 2nd and 3rd when the world’s greatest Thoroughbreds will race under the historic Twin Spires! Whether visitors are coming to town for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships or just want to experience the excitement in the days leading up to the big weekend, the Kentucky Derby Museum is offering several ways for guests to be a part of it all.

From October 29th through November 1st, our 30-minute historic walking tour, included with the Museum’s general admission experience, will take on a Breeders’ Cup twist. Guests will not only take in the beauty of Churchill Downs and learn about past Derby winners, but they’ll also learn all about the Breeders’ Cup and the legendary horses that have competed in the world championship races.

Historic Walking Tours of Churchill Downs will operate October 29 through November 1, from 8:00a.m. until 5:00p.m. daily (half past every hour).

Breeders’ Cup Workout Golf Cart & Walking Tour

Join us to see Breeders’ Cup contenders during their morning workout! The Breeders’ Cup Workout Golf Cart & Walking Tour kicks off at 6:30 a.m. and takes you through the history, pageantry and legacy of the Churchill Downs Racetrack, the Kentucky Derby and of course, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Guests will travel to the backside of Churchill Downs to enjoy an up close and personal view of the Breeders’ Cup contenders during their early morning workout, over a cup of coffee from the Trackside Kitchen. See jockeys, trainers and others at work as well as the famous barns that once were home to Thoroughbred legends like Secretariat, Barbaro and American Pharoah. Guests will also visit other exclusive areas inside historic Churchill Downs not generally open to the public. After this tour, the tour returns to the Kentucky Derby Museum, where guests will enjoy two floors of interactive exhibits that bring the extraordinary experience that is the Kentucky Derby right to you! This tour lasts two hours and includes Museum admission. It is limited to six guests and is for guests ages 10 years and up. This limited-time tour is $75 per person and runs from Monday, October 29th through Wednesday, October 31st only. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit DerbyMuseum.org.

Breeders’ Cup Week Barn and Backside Tour

Experience the hustle and bustle of the backside firsthand in this exclusive van and walking tour. Visitors will take a ride to the backside of the track and will head right into the action of the barn area. This exclusive tour is offered only to guests of the Museum. Tour guides, when possible, will point out and visit the barns where the Breeders’ Cup contenders are housed in preparation for world championship races. Seats are limited as guests ride in the Museum’s tour van. This tour is available the Monday, October 29th through Saturday, November 3rd of Breeders’ Cup week. Tours depart at 7AM, 8:30AM, 10AM, 11:30AM, 1PM, 2:30PM, 3:30PM For more information and to purchase advance tickets, visit DerbyMuseum.org.

Breeders’ Cup Exclusive VIP Tour (Oct. 29 & 30, Oct. 31)

Guests of this 45-minute VIP tour will learn about the history of the Breeders’ Cup and its impact on the racing industry. Led by a knowledgeable Museum curator, guests will also see artifacts and hear the stories of some the most famous Breeders’ Cup horses, including Winning Colors, Lady’s Secret and Cat Thief.

Tours will be conducted at the Kentucky Derby Museum Monday, October 29 and Tuesday, October 30 at 10:00a.m. and 12:00p.m., and on Wednesday, October 31 at 10:00a.m. For more information and to purchase advance tickets, visit DerbyMueseum.org.

Special Event:

The Kentucky Derby Museum is pleased to invite you for a cocktail reception with industry icon D. Wayne Lukas as the Museum unveils its brand-new wing and pays tribute to the Hall of Fame trainer for his legendary impact on the sport of Thoroughbred racing!

Mr. Lukas will be honored by the Museum and the Breeders’ Cup at this memorable event by being presented with the Breeders’ Cup Sports & Racing Excellence Award. He’ll join a distinguished list of others who have been presented with this award, including storied professional golfer Gary Player and famed sports commentator Dick Enberg.

This will also be the first time for guests to see the Kentucky Derby Museum’s $6.5 million dollar expansion, including the D. Wayne Lukas exhibit, featuring many exquisite racing and personal artifacts from his racing career and the exhibit featuring items from Hall of Fame Jockey Bill Shoemaker.

This memorable event is planned for the evening of Wednesday, October 31, from 5:00p.m. until 8:00p.m., at the Kentucky Derby Museum. A limited number of tickets are available to the public for this event. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit DerbyMuseum.org.

Join the Kentucky Derby Museum for the 3rd annual Horses, Haunts and Hooch, presented by Northwestern Mutual, on Thursday, October 25th from 6:30 to 10pm.

Get into the Halloween spirit with a beer garden on the Oaks Garden Terrace, tours of the Kentucky Derby Museum’s cemetery and “darker side” of historic Churchill Downs Racetrack to hear creepy stories of legends and lore.

Sip on craft beers from six regional breweries including Against the Grain, BBC, Great Flood Brewing, Holsopple BrewingRhinegeist and West Sixth in our Halloween-themed beer garden.

Enjoy multiple food stations including a slider bar, mac and cheese bites and more as well as delicious, specialty bites with fall flair from Red Top Hotdogs, NoBaked Cookie Dough, Hi-Five Doughnuts!

All food, beverages and tours are complimentary and are included in the event ticket price. Come dressed in your best Halloween ensemble and participate in our Costume Contest and join in some spirited games. Everyone will take home a mini beer stein, perfect for sampling!

Tickets are $35 per person in advance/$40 per person at the door. Kentucky Derby Museum members are $30. (Must be 21 or over to attend.)

To learn more and purchase tickets visit DerbyMuseum.org.

Photo: Kentucky Derby Museum

The Kentucky Derby Museum’s multi-million dollar expansion project is officially underway after a groundbreaking ceremony today in the Museum’s garden terrace. The project will add over 11,000 square feet of brand new space to the Museum. It also includes the renovation of 5,000 square feet of existing space. It will be the largest expansion of the Museum’s footprint since the building was constructed in 1985 and one of the largest renovations since a major refurbishing project following damaging flooding in 2009.

The expansion will provide a greater visitor experience for guests with an emphasis on new exhibit space, featuring the collection of legendary trainer, D. Wayne Lukas. It also creates space to display key pieces of the Bill Shoemaker collection, which has been housed in the Museum’s archives for many years. The expanded second floor will also include additional meeting and rental space. The Museum will build an entirely new third floor within the expansion footprint to house administrative offices, a large conference room and storage areas.

On the ground level, a new stable will house the Museum’s resident Thoroughbred and companion horse. The area will include seating for educational programming. It also features more than 7,400 square feet of covered space that can be set for various events, including outdoor weddings, dinners, parties and more. With the addition of the new rental space, the Museum will be able to accommodate much larger groups for special events.

Construction will begin this month and will include the demolition of the stable, the relocation of the Finish Line pole and the removal of more than 3,000 square feet of pavers. Major construction work inside the Museum will get underway following Kentucky Derby 144.

“We’ve seen the number of visitors coming through our doors growing consistently, reaching 230,000 in 2017. Building off that momentum, we wanted to create something that would take the Museum to the next level and offer a truly outstanding experience to our guests as we showcase the extraordinary event that is the Kentucky Derby, “Kentucky Derby Museum President and CEO Patrick Armstrong said.

The Museum will remain open to visitors during the entire duration of the project. The expansion will be completed by November, in time for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs Racetrack. Following the groundbreaking ceremony, Kentucky Derby Museum employees gave Winston, the Museum’s miniature horse for 22 years, a fond farewell as he headed off into retirement at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. With a final victory lap through the Museum, Winston made his way out the Museum’s front doors for the last time as employees and well-wishers cheered him on his way!

Winston came to the Kentucky Derby Museum at two years old, in the fall of 1995. He’s been the companion horse to more than 30 resident Thoroughbreds, including three horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby, Perfect Drift, Phantom on Tour and Twinspired, as well as Kentucky Derby 135 winner, Mine that Bird.

He’s also thrown out the first pitch at the Louisville Bats game, helped Churchill Downs pick the Derby winner ahead of the race, supported many charitable organizations around town and performed more than ten marriage proposals with his “Will You Marry Me?” blanket!

Photo: Kentucky Derby Museum

After spending most of his life as the tiny ambassador of the Kentucky Derby Museum, Winston is announcing his final weeks at the Museum. On Monday, March 5, 2018, Winston will head to Old Friends’ Thoroughbred Retirement Farm, where he’ll join several former Kentucky Derby champions and fellow miniature horse, Little Silver Charm.

Winston came to the Kentucky Derby Museum at two years old, in the fall of 1995. He’s been the companion horse to more than 30 resident Thoroughbreds, including three horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby, Perfect Drift, Phantom on Tour and Twinspired, as well as Kentucky Derby 135 winner, Mine that Bird.

He’s also thrown out the first pitch at the Louisville Bats game, helped Churchill Downs pick the Derby winner ahead of the race, supported many charitable organizations around town and performed more than ten marriage proposals with his “Will You Marry Me?” blanket!

“Winston spent most of his life at the Kentucky Derby Museum. He’s been our super star. Whether it’s an appearance in the stable at the end of the historic walking tour or through a picture on social media, Winston has created lasting memories for our visitors,” Kentucky Derby Museum President Patrick Armstrong said. “Now as we gear up to begin work on the Museum’s expansion, including construction of a new stable area, the time was perfect for Winston to make the move to Old Friends. We know he’ll continue to shine in his new home, charming visitors as he has done here for 23 years.”

“Everyone at Old Friends is very excited to have a horse of Winston’s tremendous stature retired at the farm,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen.”Everyone, especially Alison Knight, at the Kentucky Derby Museum has taken great care of this wonderful celebrity, and we’ll keep up the standards. His fans will know he’s just down the road.”

On February 21st and February 28th, the Museum is inviting everyone to help give Winston an amazing send-off into retirement with Winston Wednesdays! Guests can visit with him at the Museum, sign a jumbo card, get a free special edition signed print by Katie Upton of Phantom on Tour and Winston, and enjoy Winston-themed cookies, while supplies last, and more!

Visitors can also watch Rickelle Nelson, equestrian artist of Deck the Stalls, (and front desk manager at the Museum!) create a live portrait of Winston.

Winston’s final day at the Museum will be Monday, March 5th. He will enjoy a special send off to Old Friends following the Museum’s groundbreaking ceremony for its new multi-million dollar expansion project.

Photo; Kentucky Derby Museum

Tickets are now on sale for the much-anticipated Big Brims and Fancy Trims Annual Hat Sample Sale, presented by CaloSpa and CaloAesthetics with support from Kendall-Jackson, Luc Belair and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Find your perfect Oaks and Derby hats or fascinators at the Kentucky Derby Museum on Wednesday, April 5th.

Over 400 hats samples will be on sale, with no sample hat priced over $75 and some hats as low as $18. The Museum’s 2018 Hat Collection will also be available for the first time this season.

This year men are encouraged to attend and find their official Derby looks in the dedicated men’s shopping area, complete with signature bourbon tastings and cocktails. Purchase an early bird ticket for $20 to gain exclusive entry in the hat sample area from 4:30 – 5:30 pm, an hour before all shoppers are allowed in. General admission tickets are $10. Museum Members general admission tickets are just $5. The doors officially open to all attendees at 5:30 pm.

All ticket holders will enjoy complimentary cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music, local vendor pop-up shops and giveaways! Guests are encouraged to bring their Derby ensembles for styling tips and more.

The Museum’s Official Milliner, Jenny Pfanenstiel of Formé Millinery will have her couture hats on display and will also offer hat styling tips.

Learn more about the event and purchase tickets at DerbyMuseum.org.

Photo: Thoroughbred Retirement Fund

Beloved TRF retiree Phantom on Tour, who for eight years, starred as a living exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville, was euthanized on January 29 at the age of 24. He had suffered from complications caused by Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM), a neurological disease that he was first diagnosed with in 2006.

“Phantom was always liked by every inmate that came into the Second Chances program; everyone always wanted to see the horse that had run in the Kentucky Derby,” said Linda Dyer, farm manager.

“I would show them his race with everybody commenting on what a good race horse he was. It helped show them what these retired race horses are capable of as athletes.”

“We kept him down at the barn in his own paddock and stall, so he led a very spoiled life. He loved to be groomed every day. His favorite thing to do was to rub his head on you. The inmates would sneak him so many mints I had to warn them about giving him too many.”  Phantom on Tour’s bloodlines included Triple Crown winner Secretariat (1973), as well as Kentucky Derby winners Northern Dancer (1964) and Reigh Count (1928). He finished sixth to Silver Charm in the 1997 Kentucky Derby, and he earned $724,065 in a career that included victories in the Rebel Stakes, the Florida Stallion Stakes and the New Orleans Handicap.

Sent to stud in 1998, Phantom on Tour proved to be infertile, he was then gelded and returned to racing. After three starts, a group of caring fans purchased him in 2001. The TRF was honored to provide a safe haven at TRF’s Second Chances Farm at Blackburn Correctional Facility in Lexington, KY.

For a `Phantom,’ he proved to be incredibly visible.  In March of 2002, Phantom on Tour, on loan from the TRF, arrived at the Kentucky Derby Museum where he spent the next nine years. While there he served as an ambassador where he met thousands of fans and was a consummate educator on the life of a racehorse and Museum’s history.

“Phantom was super personable and super cool,” said Alison Knight, Equine Manager at the Kentucky Derby Museum. “I used to walk him down the sidewalk and right up to the Kentucky Derby Museum’s front doors. He was a great ambassador for retired Thoroughbreds. Our guests loved getting to see him up close and to interact with such a great horse. He was one of my favorite resident Thoroughbreds here at the Museum.”

Pantom on Tour shared his time at the Derby Museum with a full-sized size miniature horse, Winston, and vacationed annually at Upson Downs Farm. While on vacation, Phantom on Tour was replaced by Perfect Drift, who finished third in the 2002 Kentucky Derby.  Currently, the resident Thoroughbred at the Derby Museum is 10-year-old Populist Politics. Winston, who was foaled May 4, 1993, still resides and works at the Museum.

Phantom on Tour retired from the Derby Museum on October 21, 2010 and returned to TRF’s Blackburn farm, where he helped teach inmates equine care as part of TRF’s Second Chances vocational program.

“He was really an icon for our farm here,” Dyer said. “He was quite a character and sweet as pie when a visitor came into the barn because he knew they usually had carrots or mints.”

“He was a classy guy and a really good race horse. He helped make many a horseman here at our Second Chances Program. The 18 men have already commented on how empty the barn feels without him.”

This is a racehorse who had many careers and touched the lives of so many people along the way.

He will be missed.

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