For over a century, Churchill Downs has been an iconic racetrack, offering spectators some of the finest thoroughbred racing in the country. The Kentucky Derby began in 1875 and has remained an American tradition ever since.
Thirty minutes before the race, windows open to take your bets. While waiting for the race to begin, sip on a mint julep, which for nearly a century has been the Kentucky Derby’s signature beverage. Freshly harvested mint, water, sugar, crushed ice and Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whiskey are the essential ingredients in the recipe.
You can visit the infield to see what the party goers are up to or stroll by the red carpet area where celebrities generally hang out.
When you hear the “Riders Up” call, you’ll see all the jockeys mount their horses and step onto the track. As the horses process, all the fans sing “My Old Kentucky Home,”
The race itself lasts only two minutes, but is jam packed with high-speed excitement. Within minutes, the winning horse and jockey claim their victory. Afterward, the crowd cheers during the trophy and Garland of Roses presentation. Draping a blanket of red rose garlands on the champion horse is a long-standing Kentucky Derby tradition. In 1904, red roses became the derby’s official flower. Every year, more than 400 red roses adorn the green satin backing that goes to the derby winners.
The Kentucky Derby is a thrill to see and an experience you’ll never forget. Treat yourselves to a weekend getaway with family and friends. Group travel is affordable and fun. Consider renting a party bus or limo.
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