The Kentucky Derby Horse Race is a one-of-a-kind party experience.
Going strong since 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the longest running annual sporting event in the United States.
Over 165,000 people go to the Derby every year.
Fans bet over $210 million dollars on average on Derby day at the Derby.
Tickets are required for the Grandstand.
Millionaire’s Row is a hot spot for the well-moneyed.
The Mansion section of Churchill Downs is currently the #1 hot spot for celebrities, A-listers, CEO’s, etc. It’s a 10,000-square foot clubhouse. 300 people max. Don’t worry, entry is only $13,000/person.
The Clubhouse is also one of the most prestigious areas (ie: the Stakes Room with Skye Terrace) where celebs and rich swine of all sort can survey the decaying world.
But most people just get General Admission tickets and party on the Infield, the huge open space that is level with the track, which is more fun anyway. The wild drinkers and naked girls are usually on the Infield at the 3rd Turn of the track.
If you bet on horses, bet the Trifecta, that’s 3 horses for Win, Place and Show or you can bet the Superfecta, that’s 4 horses.
If you’re a high-roller, join the ultra-exclusive members-only Turf Club Lounge on the 3rd floor of Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs features “The Big Board,” the world’s largest 4K video board. Built by Panasonic for $12-million dollars, it’s 171-feet wide by 90-feet tall! Best high-def screen in all of sports!
Right After the Derby:
Immediately following the race and going until 9 pm, party with the winner of the Kentucky Derby with champagne, cocktails, mint juleps at the exclusive Winner’s Party at Churchill Downs!
The quintessential Derby experience is to stay at the Old Seelbach Hotel (500 South 4th St) like Hunter S. Thompson & F. Scott Fitzgerald used to and enjoy some Seelbach bourbon cocktails in their classy Oakroom Bar packed with luscious ladies. Al Capone and several gangsters have hung out at the Oakroom. F. Scott Fitzgerald featured the Seelbach in his book The Great Gatsby. The Seelbach’s Grand Staircase is the most photographed spot in Louisville.
Then get a Hot Brown sandwich on the 2nd floor of the Brown Hotel (335 W. Broadway). If yer still hungry, get a pizza at Wicks Pizza (975 Baxter Ave).
Drive around the Highlands neighborhood and check out Hunter S. Thompson’s boyhood home (2437 Ransdell Ave).
Drive the Old Louisville neighborhood, looking at the street of mansions along Saint James Court and the largest collection of Victorian mansions in America.
In the evening, have several of the best gin & tonics you’ve ever had at The Garage Bar (700 East Market St) where they make their own tonic.
Afterwards, go join tens of thousands of people swarming the barrel-vault covered streets of 4th Street Live (420 West Liberty St). And tie one last one off inside a re-purposed church at The Holy Grale Bar (1034 Bardstown Rd).
On the morning of the Derby, it’s a long-standing tradition to have breakfast at an excellent diner called Wagner’s Pharmacy (3113 S. 4th st) that’s been there since 1922.
If you have any more free time, we recommend checking out:
Mega Cavern (1841 Taylor Ave) 17-miles of underground limestone caves beneath the Louisville Zoo with ziplines and jeep tours. It was originally carved out as a “Nerve Center for Survival”.
Waverly Hills Sanitarium (4400 Paralee Lane) tour this spooky old decaying sanitarium where over 60,000 tuberculosis patients died from 1910-1961.
The City of Lexington (located 90-minutes east of Louisville, the city of Lexington is one of the most scenically beautiful cities in America; lush, rolling green hills, great food, polite people, tons of tourable bourbon distilleries; its also the world’s horse capital with over 400 horse farms)
Hey, Louisville is only 5 and 1/2 hours south of Detroit, bubba. You can see hot ladies in big hats and classy dresses, drink mint julips, become a walking shitshow and dissolve into the multitude.
Oh yeah, here’s some great bourbons to get you started: Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, Blanton’s, Four Roses Small Batch, Pappy Van Winkle.
What: Kentucky Derby
Where: Churchill Downs (700 Central Ave, Louisville, Kentucky)
When: Saturday, May 1st, 2021
Time: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Cost: $55.00 General Admission
General Admission tickets
Story by Hunter Thompson
short 15pg story by Louisville’s own Hunter S. Thompson