The wind is still, the sun is shining and the subtle scent of mint perfume is the air... Welcome the legendary Kentucky Derby. The hypnotic drawl and extravagant hats of the Southern aristocracy lulls one into a dreamlike trance, until suddenly the spell is broken as 20 of the fastest horses in the world burst out of the gates. A mighty roar erupts from the crowd as 80 hoofs carrying up to a half-ton of thoroughbred muscle pound around a 1 ¼ mile dirt track over the space of roughly 90 seconds in pursuit of the single most coveted trophy in horse racing.
Join us at Churchill Downs for the most electric two minutes in sport as you experience the Kentucky Derby from your 1st Floor Grandstand Seats. See the sweat glistening on the shoulders of thoroughbred giants, sip mint juleps in the prestigious clubhouse and attend the hottest celebrity-filled parties in town. Where you sit at the track is paramount to your experience of the race. First, second and third floor grandstand seats are available - with the higher floors having the better vantage point of the race. As well, the closer to the finish line you are, the better you can see with your own eyes the winning stallion ride into victory.
Speak to your destination expert to customise your experience of the Derby - upgrade your tickets to the Clubhouse or one of the themed suites, switch your hotel or add shared touring of a local horse farm or bourbon distillery.
Feel - Soak in the sensational thrill of the epic finish of “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and the Triumph of victory! Feel the ground shake beneath you from the roar of the crowd and the thunderous stampede of the dash to the finish line!
Hear - From the resonating sounds of the trumpet’s call to post, the echo of the announcer clocking each weighty hoof beat, the clink of Mint Julep glasses, the roar of the crowd as the pack rounds the turn for home, and the regal marching band championing the famed “My Old Kentucky Home;” the entire auditory experience is exhilarating in itself!
See - Marvel at the majesty and grandeur of the Twin Spires®, the pageantry and artistry of fashion, spot star-studded celebrities, and scope the bright silks of the jockeys and their regal thoroughbreds!
The Hampton Inn Louisville East hotel is located near both Churchill Downs® and the Muhammed Ali Center. Explore the local history by taking a ride on a riverboat, visiting a glass-making factory, or having dinner in one of the 2,500 restaurants in town. The Hampton Inn Louisville East hotel features 77 beautifully appointed guestrooms, a business center, exercise room and indoor pool. The property also offers guests a complimentary beverage and breakfast area as well as an on -site convenience store for anything you may have forgotten at home. Hampton Inn and Suites Louisville-East is located minutes from Louisville’s most famous attractions including Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. Start your day right with Hampton’s free hot breakfast. After an exciting day, retire to a comfy guest room and unwind on a clean and fresh Hampton bed®, re-energize in the fitness center or relax in the pool.
Upon your arrival to the track you will receive an exclusive package with your Grandstand Green tickets, access to the In-track Hospitality, VIP Fast Access Pass, and an Offical Kentucky Derby® 139 Gift Bag.
Head to the track with ease with this shared transfer from your hotel to Chuchill Downs. Derby Experiences Trip Directors are onsite and assigned to each hotel to make sure guests know where they are going throughout the day.
A close view of the track, across from the eight pole, boasts a ground level view of the starting line and final stretch. Your experience continues with access to an in-track Hospitality venue featuring a complimentary Derby fare lunch, snacks for purchase, a cash-basis bar, a meet & greet with a celebrity jockey on Derby day, an Official gift bag, transportation, VIP entrances and more!
The Kentucky Oaks event is as old as the “Run for the Roses” but features fillies and lilies and lots of things women love. The Kentucky Oaks is famous for Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies staged annually in Louisville. Known as the “Lilies for the Fillies”, the winner receives a large garland of lilies and silver Kentucky Oaks Trophy. With a chilled mint julep in your hand, you will bask in the unforgettable atmosphere with beautiful ladies wearing fancy hats juxaposed by horses charging towards their stake to victory.
Tonight we recommend drinks and dinner at Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge, which fuses a swanky environment with an innovative menu in a non-intimidating way. Taking cues from the hipster handbook, the lounge capitalizes on slick minimalism with its use of blond and dark-wood fixtures, flat-screen TV’s, a double-decker fireplace, sleek red-tiled pillars, and a back-lit bar that pays homage to all of Kentucky’s bourbons. The menu demonstrates a strong Asian influence paired with local ingredients, and dishes range from Black-skillet-seared scallops to “naked” lobster ravioli and grilled double-cut New Zealand lamb chops paired with a basil-mint pesto and polenta cake.
This exclusive Kentucky Derby® experience is inclusive of an in-track hospitality venue. This venue provides an opportunity to meet and greet with some celebrity past and present jockey's. A Cash Bar is available between 8AM and 6PM, married along with Lunch featuring Derby Fares and snacks for purchase from 11AM to 4PM. Private self-service Wagering Stations and simulcast TV coverage is also made available in this venue.
We will arrive early to allow for plenty of time to enjoy the parade of hats on display. From the fantastic to the sublime the quirky to the extravagant, there are no rules or limits. The more refined and elegant ladies sport classy, fashionable styles in the clubhouse and paddock, while the eccentric and downright outrageous headgear is reserved for the infield. Sit back and watch the action from the your seats until the moment of the race, when an audience of over 150,000 suddenly falls silent in hushed anticipation of the starting bell. After the adrenaline-rush of watching the winner cross the finish line right before your eyes, take some time to enjoy the post-race scene before returning to your hotel by transfer.
Experience why Kentucky is world famous! This fun and informative tour takes you through the heart and soul of Kentucky’s Bluegrass horse country. See a world class private farm that is home to current and future Derby stars and studs. If there is an art form native to Kentucky… Travel through the heart and soul of Kentucky’s Bluegrass horse country. Tour the ivy covered grounds of Keeneland race course, also home to the world’s most expensive horse auction. As famous for its beauty as its racing prominence, Keeneland was constructed in 1936 and is now a National Historic Landmark. Distinguished by its limestone buildings and mature trees, Keeneland helped to reinvigorate horse racing when it was faltering – clearly a successful effort. These days, visitors from around the world gather to watch horses train, catch them race during April and October, and bid for thoroughbreds at auction.
The Hampton Inn Louisville East hotel is located near both Churchill Downs® and the Muhammed Ali Center. Explore the local history by taking a ride on a riverboat, visiting a glass-making factory, or having dinner in one of the 2,500 restaurants in town. The Hampton Inn Louisville East hotel features 77 beautifully appointed guestrooms, a business center, exercise room and indoor pool. The property also offers guests a complimentary beverage and breakfast area as well as an on -site convenience store for anything you may have forgotten at home.
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.
The race is one and a quarter mile (2 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57.2 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg). The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and is followed by the Preakness Stakes then the Belmont Stakes. The horse must win all three to win the Triple Crown. The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders' Cup
The Kentucky Derby is one of the USA's oldest Thoroughbred horse races (the Phoenix Stakes being the oldest, first run in 1831). From the time the region was settled, the fields of the Bluegrass region were noted for producing superior racehorses. In 1872, Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, traveled to England, visiting the Epsom Derby, a famous race that had been running annually since 1780. From there, Clark went on to Paris, France, where in 1863, a group of racing enthusiasts had formed the French Jockey Club and had organized the Grand Prix de Paris, which at the time was the greatest race in France.
In addition to the race itself, a number of traditions play a large role in the Derby atmosphere. The Mint Julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and sugar syrup is the traditional beverage of the race. The historic drink can be served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup but most Churchill Downs patrons sip theirs from souvenir glasses (first offered in 1939 and available in revised form each year since) printed with all previous Derby winners. Also, burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby.
The Kentucky Oaks is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies staged annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. The race currently covers 1? miles (1811 m) at Churchill Downs; the horses carry 121 pounds (54.9 kg). The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby each year. The winner gets a $500,000 purse and a large garland of lilies, affectionately called the "Lillies for the Fillies." A silver Kentucky Oaks Trophy is presented to the winner.
The Kentucky Oaks is considered by some to be among the most popular horse races in American horse-racing society due to its high attendance. It attracts about 100,000 people in attendance a year since 2001's 127th running of the Kentucky Oaks. In 1980 it was about 50,000 people and by 1989, it had reached about 67,000 people. The attendance at the Kentucky Oaks ranks third in the continent and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Belmont Stakes and the Breeders' Cup. The attendance of the Kentucky Oaks typically only trails the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, for more information see American Thoroughbred Racing top Attended Events.
In local culture despite the increasing number of out-of-state visitors who came to the race every year, the "Oaks" (as local residents simply refer to it) has always been considered to be a local event by the people of Kentuckiana (the Ohio Valley, centered around Louisville, and consisting of much of northern Kentucky and southern Indiana). Large crowds of Louisvillians and others from the Kentuckiana attend the Oaks annually and the infield of the race track hosts numerous musical attractions, boardwalk games, and food and alcoholic beverage vendors. Bringing in one's own alcohol is forbidden at Churchill Downs and many locals revel in finding ingenious ways to smuggle in their own libations, rather than pay the inflated prices inside Churchill Downs. Most every school and quite a few businesses in the Kentuckiana region treat the Oaks as a holiday. Perhaps out of self-consciousness for the gambling aspect of the race, none of the region's schools declare that the holiday is explicitly because of the Oaks and most simply say it is an "administrative holiday."
Louisville Clock (often called the Louisville Derby Clock)
The infield, a spectator area inside the track, offers general admission prices but little chance of seeing much of the race. Instead, revelers show up in the infield to party with abandon. By contrast, "Millionaire's Row" refers to the expensive box seats that attract the rich, the famous and the well-connected. Women appear in fine outfits lavishly accessorized with large, elaborate hats. As the horses are paraded before the grandstands, the University of Louisville Marching Band plays Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home".
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