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'There's so much that has happened here', The history buff who knows all things Derby

Preserving Kentucky Derby history is something that requires relentless dedication, curiosity, and daily desire to share it. Chris Goodlett is the man for the job.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Derby is a source of pride for many of us. 

Preserving its history is something that requires relentless dedication, curiosity, and daily desire to share it.

Right now, that job falls on the shoulders of Chris Goodlett, the Director of Curatorial and Educational Affairs for The Kentucky Derby Museum.

In simpler terms, he knows anything and everything there is to know about the Derby.

“I’ve been at The Kentucky Derby Museum for approximately 19 years,” Goodlett said. 

“To me, it’s just very exciting to talk about horse racing, The Kentucky Derby, and Churchill Downs. These are things that are so integral to the fabric of the city, and the fabric of the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

Goodlett was born and raised in Taylorsville, Kentucky. His hometown roots are part of what has formed his body of knowledge over the years. 

His interest in museums began in graduate school where he focused on artifacts and collections. 

He joined the Kentucky Derby Museum team in 1999, and that’s when he began his journey to learn about the history of Churchill Downs and The Kentucky Derby. 

That body of knowledge is one he enjoys sharing daily with museum visitors.

“There’s so much that has happened here,” he said. “The horse industry itself is so important to our state. So, it’s great to know those stories and to communicate that with people here at The Kentucky Derby Museum.”

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