Gallop to Glory – Louisville, Kentucky - Atlas Obscura

Gallop to Glory

This hidden jockey “walk of fame” celebrates the winning riders of the Kentucky Derby. 


Every May, the “most exciting two minutes in sports” draws crowds to Louisville, Kentucky. Spectators, donning their finest hats and sipping mint juleps, gather to watch Thoroughbreds tear around the track in the Kentucky Derby.

Practically hidden in plain sight at the Galt House Hotel, you’ll find a small installation that celebrates the exciting equestrian event. Gallop to Glory is to jockeys what the Hollywood Walk of Fame is to A-list celebrities. It’s a chance for them to literally cement their accomplishments into history.

The installation was unveiled in 2005. Any jockey who rides their mount to glory in the Kentucky Derby is invited to preserve their handprint and signature in this easily overlooked part of the Galt House Hotel. A steel rose, which pays tribute to the blanket of red roses draped around the neck of the winning horse, is then placed on their square. The growing collection of squares surrounds a Gallopalooza horse sculpture.

Gallop to Glory isn’t the only bit of Derby Day excitement you’ll find at the hotel. As the Official Host Hotel for Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, it offers a variety of race-themed festivities.

Know Before You Go

Gallop to Glory is to the left of the main entrance to Suite Tower. If you're interested in staying at the Galt House Hotel, see its website for booking information. If you're planning to be there for the Derby Day festivities, it's recommended to book far in advance.

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October 3, 2018

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