Reasons to Watch Kentucky Derby 2024

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Watch Kentucky Derby
Source: courier-journal.com

Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular horseracing events in the world. It’s the first leg of the high-anticipated Triple Crown Series and the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” Besides these honors, the Kentucky Derby is known as a race with rich culture and history, encouraging more horseracing patrons to embrace it even more.

Many factors make the Kentucky Derby a must-watch horseracing spectacle. However, there are only a few reasons why many fans worldwide devotedly attend Churchill Downs every year.

Mint Julep

Mint Julep
Source: punchdrink.com

The Run for the Rosos’ official cocktail drink is called Mint Julep. It’s made of fresh mint, granulated sugar, water, ice, and bourbon. Every season, around 120,000 mint julep is served in the Derby. It has been a customary alcoholic beverage offered at Churchill Downs in connection with the Kentucky Derby for almost Century. Hence, the mints were planted outside the Churchill Downs clubhouse for the juleps served in the 1875 Kentucky Derby.

That’s why the mint julep was proclaimed the official drink of the Kentucky Derby around 1938 when Churchill Downs ordered the mint julep cups from its supplier. However, even though you ought to try the well-known drink with bourbon as it’s foundation, be careful not overindulge. While a Mint Julep might be cooling on a hot day, remember to drink water as well.

There’s also a mint julep sold for $1,000 in the venue, containing Woodford Reserve bourbon. It’s served in gold-plated cups and comes with silver straws. Mint Julep is so special that there’s a day dedicated to celebrating its existence— Mint Julep Day every May 30!

Betting

Horse Betting
Source: sports.betmgm.com

Horseracing is a heavily wagered sports event. Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown Series, remains one of the races with the biggest purse money annually. Locals and international fans bet on the Kentucky Derby horses because of the purse money. The most common types of bets in the Runs for the Roses are the following:

Win: With a minimum bet of $2, the bettor must pick one horse to place first in the race’s final order of finish.

Place: The bettor must pick a horse to win first or second in the race’s final order of finish. This pays less than the win bet.

Show: Show bet pays lesser than win and place bet. The bettor must select a horse to place first, second, or third in the race’s final order of finish.

Exacta: Bettor must pick two horses to finish first and second in the race, in exact order. You have the choice to “box” the bet, which means you can still claim the payout as long as the horse places first or second in the race’s final order of finish.

Trifecta: This is an exotic bet that requires bettors to select three horses to place first, second, and third in the race, in exact order.

The Box: This means picking horses to secure a specific number of places in the race’s final order of finish, in any order. For instance, you can box a trifecta and pick three horses to win first, second, or third.

The Key: This means selecting a specific horse to finish in a particular position you are sure of. For instance, you can place a trifecta key and assign a horse to rank one position, and the rest of the selection should secure the second and third positions in the race’s final order of finish.

Superfecta: Superfecta is the most difficult to hit. It requires bettors to pick four horses to complete the race in the first four positions in exact order.

Tough Thoroughbreds

Every year, fans can expect to see performances from the toughest three-year-old thoroughbreds. This year, get a hint of the highly-anticipated horses in the race by looking at FanDuel.com horse racing analysis. The Kentucky Derby features a field of 20 horses around the US and outside the country.

As of this year, 13 horses have conquered the Run for the Roses and the Triple Crown Series. These horses include Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharoah (2015), and Justify (2018).

Hats and Outfits

horse racing
Source: reuters.com

The Kentucky Derby is also home to the most fashionable guests in the horseracing industry. Extravagant and colorful hats are a trend in the annual Run for the Roses. You know, the Kentucky Derby is the pinnacle of the fastest horses in the world, mixed with some of the richest individuals in the world wearing some of the most adorably insane dresses you’ve ever seen.

Ladies are donned in vibrant Sunday’s best, while gentlemen are expected to wear suits and pants with a boater hat. This tradition started in 1875 when founder Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. asked elite women to attend the inaugural Kentucky Derby in full morning dress. Since then, guests have been picking sophisticated race outfits to sport every First Saturday of May in the Kentucky Derby.

Multiple Ticket Package Options

Kentucky Derby
Source: cnn.com

There are 30 different ticket package options in the Kentucky Derby. These accommodation options are distributed in different spots of the Churchill Downs Racetrack. Seating locations are varied and different inclusions are available, so pick one that would best suit you. If you want to experience the wild Kentucky Derby, getting the infield or general admission ticket could be the best option. With this ticket, you have access to a fantastic party participated by 80,000 spectators drinking mint juleps and socializing all day.

After all of the events, you’ll need some rest after all the fun and excitement! Due to Luisvilles’s small size and lack of hotel rooms, you might want to think about renting an Airbnb. Given that prices are generally high over the Derby weekend, this might also be a more affordable choice.

Final Thoughts

There’s no better way to enjoy the Kentucky Derby than physically attending the race. While many viewing options are available at home, becoming one of the 150,000 spectators roaming the venue is the most fantastic experience a Derby fan could have. Make it happen this year, and book your ticket now.