Blue Grass Stakes Exhibit Opens at Keeneland Library in April

Carpe Diem | Horsephotos

A Rite of Spring: the 100th Running of the Blue Grass Stakes will open at the Keeneland Library Apr. 1. The exhibit features photographs that capture race highlights over the decades, as well as memorabilia from notable jockeys Bill Shoemaker, Mike Manganello and Chris Antley and celebrated runners such as Whirlaway, Riva Ridge, Spectacular Bid and Strike the Gold. The exhibit's photographs, curated from Keeneland Library collections and public submissions from professional and amateur photographers, spotlight some of the greatest moments of the time-honored spring stakes.

“We are fortunate to have rich resources in the Library's collections to celebrate this historic running,” Keeneland Library Director Roda Ferraro said. “The exhibit features never-before-published photographs alongside iconic shots that capture some of racing's greatest equine athletes and their connections spanning more than 100 years. The public submission call for photographs was a welcomed boon to the exhibit's curation process, and we are pleased to spotlight the work of photographers in concert with images from the Library's collections.”

The free exhibit is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Library.

The 100th GI Toyota Blue Grass S. will be run Apr. 6.

Other Spring events at the Keeneland Library include tours titled, “From Keeneland to the Kentucky Derby” the week of Apr. 29. Each tour will include a visit to the track to watch racehorses train, spotlight Keeneland sales graduates who made their mark in the Kentucky Derby and provide an exclusive tour of Keeneland Library's latest exhibit.

Turf writer Tom Law will be at the library for a night of handicapping the 2024 Kentucky Derby May 1 and, beginning May 11, Starting Gate Storytime will combine a reading of a children's book centered on horses with a literacy, art, history, industry awareness or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity. Keeneland Kids Club mascot Buckles will be on hand to brush up on his reading and spend time with young racing fans and horse lovers. The series is ideal for learners ages four through eight.

For information on all the spring events at the Keeneland Library, visit

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