Century of the Crown
Dates: September 2019
The Kentucky Derby Museum is pleased to present the new exhibition, “Century of the Crown” celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Triple Crown. “Century of the Crown” will be the inaugural exhibition in the newly constructed Matt Winn Oral History Theatre featuring historic photographs, artifacts and video interviews drawn from the Museum’s Collection.
Exactly a century has passed since Sir Barton swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in 1919 to become the first winner of the American Triple Crown. It seems hard to believe—after one hundred years of infuriating droughts and emotional near-misses—that the racing world is celebrating its second Triple Crown champion this decade with Justify. “Century of the Crown” is both a celebration of our latest champion and of the magnificent legacy of Thoroughbred racing’s most difficult challenge, the Triple Crown.
The exhibit will take a look back at the previous twelve contenders, some of whom won their jewels before the Triple Crown had even become a concept. Visitors can learn about the origin of the challenge, the way it evolved in the 20th century, and the many near-misses that made racing fans fear the Triple Crown was no longer possible. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert experienced several near-misses in his career before becoming only the second person in history to have trained two Triple Crown winners, American Pharoah and Justify. “Century of the Crown” features a saddle made for Bob Baffert to commemorate this historic moment.
Displaying rarely seen photos and artifacts from the Kentucky Derby Museum’s permanent collection, visitors can enjoy even more pieces of history from the careers of Sir Barton, War Admiral, Citation, and Justify that will help bring the story of the Triple Crown to life.