Churchill Downs Names Featured Milliners for Kentucky Derby 149

Gary Palmisano, Jr. named VP of Racing, Joe Quinn Named VP, Legal and Heather Jacobsen named VP of Project Management Office

LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, Feb. 24, 2023) – Churchill Downs announced today that three renowned and recognizable hat designers will have the distinction of being named as a featured milliner of the 149th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve. From master milliners of classic creations to celebrity stylists and fresh fascinators, this year’s collection of illustrious designers can top off any Derby ensemble.

Christine Moore returns for the sixth consecutive year of bringing fashion’s finest millinery creations to the Derby. Moore was the first to earn the distinction of featured milliner of the Kentucky Derby in 2018. Her iconic yet highly wearable designs have become a staple at racetracks across the country and have been worn by Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Kate Upton and showcased on NashvilleThe Carrie Diaries and Gossip Girl. Moore’s New York-based business, Christine A. Moore Millinery, is known for fine finishing work on her popular hats for women and men. Her Spring 2023 collection can be found at

Master Milliner Jenny Pfanenstiel also returns as a four-time featured milliner in 2023. World-renowned for her skill of sculpting hats by hand using high-quality and rare materials from across the globe, Pfanenstiel combines her unique process with centuries-old techniques to produce one-of-a-kind show-stopping creations for all seasons and occasions. Her hats have adorned the heads of Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Madonna among other celebrities and dignitaries. Owner of Formé Millinery, her hats and fascinators for women and men can be purchased year-round at the Formé Millinery Hat Shop in downtown Louisville, specialty boutiques around the world and at

This year introduces The Hat Girls as the new featured milliner for Kentucky Derby 149. Louisville natives Kate Smith and Rachel Bell create upscale headwear that is often described as wearable art. From lifelong friends to business partners and creative collaborators, the duo blended their love of fashion, eye for design and marketing flair to develop The Hat Girls where they channel their life’s passion into creating extravagant millinery pieces that meet the needs of multiple demographics. Their special occasion and Derby creations can be shopped online at or seasonally at their retail storefront in Louisville, Kentucky.

“The act of wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is one of our most cherished living traditions,” said Casey Ramage, vice president of marketing and partnerships for Churchill Downs. “We’re fortunate to partner with these exceptional milliners and notable designers who both elevate the craft and invigorate the Derby with color, style and beauty. Fashion of the Kentucky Derby has become a sport in itself and is an integral part of the spectacle and entertainment associated with this most thrilling event.”

To learn more about this year’s featured milliners of the Kentucky Derby, visit When planning an outfit for Kentucky Derby 149, you can find fashion tips to inspire your hat-to-toe look at

About the Kentucky Derby

The $3 million Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Inaugurated in 1875, the legendary 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds is the oldest continually-held major sporting event in the United States and the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown series. Also known as the “The Run for the Roses,” “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and “America’s Race,” the Kentucky Derby is the most attended horse race in the nation.