The Kentucky Museum is a wonderful mulltimedia experience which allows visitors to see, hear, touch, and even smell Churchill Downs and learn everything you could possibly care to know about Derby history since 1875, when the first Kentucky Derby was run.
The museum starts with am impressive nearly life-size movie of horses coming straight at you from a distant starting gate until it looks like they are just about to run over you. You can see the dirt flying and every muscle rippling. You can watch a presentation about the life of a racehorse from birth to racing in a 360 degree theater with round stools so you can turn to watch different parts of the screen with ease. You can watch every Derby that is available on videotape by just pressing a button. There is a simulated wagering station where you can place simulated wagers on a real race, then watch it, and see how much money you "won." Every race is different, so the small group ahead of you will be watching a different race than you will. You can also sit astride your very own "horse" and control its movements by push buttons to challenge a couple of other jockeys and their mounts. I could have sat there and played that game for a long time. Besides numerous visual displays of all things Derby, from equipment used by grooms, farriers, veterinarians, etc., to trophies, and of course the famous Derby hat collection, there are audio and visual presentations for each Triple Crown winner. It is fascinating to listen to some of the taped real-time commentary as well as recollections of journalists, jockeys, owners, and trainers still living.
My only regret is that the weather was too bad (very cold and windy) for us to enjoy the free guided tour of the back side/barn area of Churchill Downs. I'm sure it would have been equally fascinating.
On a final note, the gift shop was excellent. There was an enormous array of items relating to horses, racing, and the Derby for people of all ages and interests. I even purchased an image of the riding silks I designed at a kiosk in the museum for just under $10. Maybe someday, I'll get a few dozen friends to form a syndicate so we can buy a possible Derby-worthy yearling at the Lexington sale. The Kentucky Derby is all about dreams--those that come true, and those that ended in tragedy as well. The Kentucky Derby Museum does justice to these dreams, and all of the horses and people involved. It's well worth a few hours of your time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC