History is written by the victors, or so the old saying goes. In 2017, with our exclusive hospitality to Triple Crown™ events, write your own history by attending the Kentucky Derby® and Belmont Stakes with a proven winning formula.
Experience the Kentucky Derby
May 5, 2017, witness the world’s most exciting and eagerly-anticipated horse racing event, the Kentucky Derby! Derby Experiences, the Official Experience Package Provider to Churchill Downs® for the Kentucky Oaksand the Kentucky Derby, gives race fans trackside exclusives and unique hospitality that is simply not available anywhere else! Not only will patrons be given VIP Fast Access into Churchill Downs on both Oaks and Derby days, transportation to and from the track will also be provided.
Our one of a kind hospitality packages range from party packages – with celebrity jockey meet & greets and LIVE entertainment – to our premium seating where celebrities mingle while indulging in our open bars and unrestricted viewing of Churchill Downs.
The beauty of our Kentucky Derby Official Ticket Packages is our variety of options to suit each and every attendee and cater their own unique Derby Experience requirements, as well as the additional accommodation needs. With Derby Experiences, plan your visit to the first jewel in the Triple Crown™ as the world’s best three-year-old thoroughbreds compete in the “Run for the Roses.” Be there in 2017!
The Final Jewel in the Crown: The Belmont Stakes
The Belmont Stakes has an ability to produce something that is simply unmatched. In 2015, the world witnessed something quite remarkable. At Elmont Park, New York, on June 6, American Pharoah claimed the final jewel in the Triple Crown and a place in history by becoming only the 12th Triple Crown winner ever. Make sure you are there in 2017 to witness history once again!
With Belmont Experiences, this true test of a champion gives guests the exclusive opportunity to enjoy luxurious in-track, climate-controlled hospitality setting in our Diamond Room featuring sweeping views of the track, gourmet food buffets, a premium open bar, and convenient betting windows.
Live entertainment, legendary jockey appearances, and big-screen televisions with full race day coverage will ensure that you’ll be in the most festive and exciting venue for the races and won’t miss a minute of the action! Your Belmont Stakes trip will be complete with a stay in the Grand Hyatt New York. This sleek and sophisticated New York City hotel is connected to the famed Grand Central Terminal and possesses arguably the best location amongst Manhattan’s luxury hotels. Its proximity to nearby Broadway theaters, 5th Avenue shopping, the Empire State Building, Times Square, and major museums ensures that guests are never more than a few steps from the charms of NYC.
One of the first decisions you must make for attending the 2017 Kentucky Derby® is where to sit. Luckily, Churchill Downs® has their trackside seats broken up into three sections: Premium, Clubhouse and Grandstand.
Premium: These packages spare nothing but the best for race day. From premium bars, gourmet food selections and exceptional atmospheres, you can’t go wrong with a premium choice.
Clubhouse: If you are seeking a seat right at t he finish line, you’re looking for Clubhouse. Spanning from the center most part of the track all the way down to the first bend, this is the one the most elite seating options at Churchill Downs.
Grandstand: Catch all of the action stretching from starting gate out to the round of the final turn from this seating area. It offers three levels of seating, covered and uncovered, granting unparalleled views of the race.
Official Ticket Packages:
Why deal with massive lines, transportation blunders, finding your hotel and buying each individual drink and food item all day – when there is an option to package it all together.
With Derby Experiences official Kentucky Derby ticket packages, you won’t have to worry about a single thing when it comes to race day. Transportation to and from the track, all-inclusive hospitality access, hotel options, tickets to both days of racing and much more will provide you with the best experience for the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
Don’t miss out of Louisville’s hottest parties during Derby Week. Mingle with celebrities, horsemen and dignitaries while enjoying delectable menus, signature drinks, exciting entertainment and more!
Taste of the Derby™: Enjoy a night full of top chef creations and drink pairings on the eve of the Kentucky Oaks® – Thursday May 4th, 2017.
Fillies & Lilies Party: Up for a night at the Kentucky Derby Museum? Check out the official kick-off party for the Kentucky Derby with Clint Black! Friday May 5th, 2017
Winner’s Party: Partake in the celebration and action of crowning the new champion at this party. Toasting alongside winning jockey, trainers and owners will top off your Kentucky Derby experience. Saturday May 6th, 2017 right after the race!
Top 3 Things to Do in Louisville:
Check out Fourth Street Live! Located on Fourth Street between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, hit the heart of Louisville for this hot spot with numerous restaurants, bourbon lounges and live entertainment.
Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. Check out this spot for a world class distillery tour and sampling room of one of Kentucky’s finest bourbons.
Tour the Kentucky Derby Museum: Get a unique perspective on the history, race, track, horses and jockeys of the Kentucky Derby.
Make Your First Time Experience at the Kentucky Derby one to Remember!
Now that you are filled up to the brim with helpful knowledge and insider information, all that’s left to do is call us! Your event specialist will help you find the right package for you and your party to have the ultimate 2017 Kentucky Derby experience. Don’t miss out on the best two minutes in sport and book your package today! 888.384.7088
With many options out there for the 2017 Kentucky Derby®, how do you even begin to choose which package is right for you?
Luckily, we have detailed our premium experiences for you below. With premium, you can't go wrong from the top of the line views, height preferences, celebrity appearances and premium bar and hotel options. Looking for more information? Click on the package name for detailed maps, hospitality inclusions, what to wear guides and much more!
The Derby Room offers the ultimate indoor experience with an unobstructed view of the track that an outside seat provides. Spend time with your friends and family enjoying the premium open bar, gourmet food buffets, private wagering stations, private balcony and much more – all while adjacent to the Jockey Club Suites.
Enjoy this open-air covered seating with direct access to the Turf Club and premium views of the paddock area during your Kentucky Derby experience. The Turf Club Balcony allows you all the luxuries of a premium open bar, gourmet food service, live wagering stations and celebrity experiences.
This premium option will allow you and your guests direct access to the Turf Club with full-service in-suite hospitality including a premium open bar, gourmet food service, live wagering stations and celebrity appearances.
Looking for an area where celebrities are known to frequent? Check out this location in Churchill Downs®! Your panoramic views of the track and finish line will be coupled with a premium open bar, gourmet food service, live wagering stations and celebrity appearances to top off your Turf Club experience.
Offering direct access to the Turf Club and indoor dining with seating just one row away from the glass, Turf Club Row B offers a premium experience. With an area known to be frequented by celebrities, enjoy your premium open bar, gourmet food service, live wagering stations and celebrity experiences all while watching the race.
The Trophy Room offers the perfect balance of indoor and outdoor space from the indoor dining room to the Finish Line Suites Balcony. Enjoy your premium open bar, gourmet food buffets and private wagering stations with world class views of the paddock and finish line.
This private outdoor dining room offers breath-taking views of the paddock area and finish line. Enhance your viewing platform option with a premium open bar, gourmet food buffets and private wagering stations to make the most of your Kentucky Derby experience.
Stakes Room Balcony truly has a view of it all from the paddock area to Twin Spires to the finish line. Enjoy this private covered terrace with in-suite hospitality access including premium open bar, gourmet food buffets, private wagering stations and celebrity appearances.
With premium indoor dining, a private viewing platform and views of the entire track and finish line – you can’t go wrong with Millionaires Row. This in-suite hospitality access includes soft drinks, water & tea, a cash bar, gourmet food buffets and private wagering stations.
The Stakes Room offers an indoor dining room with breathtaking views of the entire track from the viewing platform. This in-suite hospitality gives you full access to a premium open bar, gourmet food buffets, and private wagering stations, while having the opportunity for celebrity appearances.
Ready to Book Your Premium Experience to the Kentucky Derby?
Be there in 2017 to watch “the most exciting two minutes in sport.”
Book your official ticket package with Derby Experiences today to experience the incredible premium seating locations, unmatched access to exclusive hospitality, and more!
The Kentucky Derby® is, without a doubt, America's most iconic horse racing event. The English have Royal Ascot, Australia comes to a standstill for the Melbourne Cup, but few meetings capture the spirit of a nation quite like the “Run for the Roses.”
So named for the garland of roses that is draped over the winner, the Kentucky Derby traces its rich history back to 1875 when Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Junior decided to inaugurate a race in his home state of Kentucky.
Influenced by a visit to the English Derby at Epsom, the Kentucky Derby took place originally over a 1.5-mile distance – the same as Epsom – before being shortened to 1 ¼ miles in 1896.
The Kentucky Derby is also the first leg in the revered Triple Crown™, the other two legs being the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Considered one of the sternest tests in thoroughbred racing, only 12 horses have ever completed the treble. In recent years in particular, the search for elusiveness has intensified and been unlocked, with American Pharoah in 2015 completing the treble, and California Chrome’s near miss the year previous.
The very first Derby was won by Aristides in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000. Over 140 years later, more than 165,000 people will once again flock to Churchill Downs® on the first Saturday of May 2017 for what will be its 143rd edition.
These days, Kentucky shares its Derby with the world. But it remains, in essence, very local in flavor. The hulking Churchill Downs with its famous twin spires is still imposing, storied with talks of yesteryear.
Make Memories You’ll Cherish!
Make memories that will last a lifetime. Immerse yourself in the midst of 170,000 other racing fans, the excitement is unmatched – your walk in to Churchill Downs will embrace the twin spires to the left and paddock to the right – the dream is now a reality!
The Derby has the unique ability to make friends out of complete strangers, and family out of friends. For the ladies, Derby hats and bright-colored dresses are just another part of this unique day. For the guys, take a stroll to the paddock and examine perfection in equine form before making the all-important decision on who you will wager your hard-earned dollars on!
Irrespective of being the world’s biggest racing fan or a complete novice, the Kentucky Derby will give you an experience you will cherish for a lifetime!
The Kentucky Derby – Be There in 2017!
“The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sport”, Kentucky has been the custodian of the world's most emblematic race for more than 100 years, and will continue to preserve its unique traditions for many years to come. It doesn't get more authentic than this.
2017 will be no different. Don’t miss your opportunity to be there.
The world stops when it’s Kentucky Derby post time. An unmatched event for excitement and prestige, nothing beats the roar of the crowd from the Churchill Downs pantheon of noise. Book your official ticket package with Derby Experiences today to experience the incredible premium seating locations, unmatched access to exclusive hospitality, and more!
One thing you can be assured of in racing is that there are no assurances. Before and after the most exciting two minutes in sport, the Kentucky Derby®, hearts will be pounding. Every horse’s connections can only dream of winning a Derby, never mind entertaining the thought of a Triple Crown™.
No matter which contender emerges from the dust to claim victory in the years first Triple Crown™ race, history has shown further success is no guarantee. Here, we take a brief look at the last 10 Derby winners, and how they fared thereafter.
Unbeaten in the run up to the Kentucky Derby, Nyquist justified favoritism to win a hotly-contested 142nd edition of the Derby. Murmurs of Triple Crown™ glory soon engulfed the racing world, but that was short-lived after placing 3rd in the Preakness. Unseen since, Nyquist returns in the Haskell Invitational this Sunday (July 31st) at Monmouth.
American Pharoah (2015)
Quite possibly the most accomplished thoroughbred of the last thirty years, American Pharoah broke the long Triple Crown™ drought by winning the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, and then capped it off with a victory at the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He's the only horse to ever win all four major stakes races, the so-called “Grand Slam of Horse Racing.”
California Chrome (2014)
He went on to win the Preakness but fell short at Belmont, finishing tied for fourth with Tonalist finishing first. Still, he was the toast of the sport and stood as a symbol for less wealthy stables due his lineage and cheap $10,000 price tag, a pittance in horse racing. A force still to be reckoned with, Chrome will cap off his career in the Breeders’ Cup Classic this November. He is the winningest horse in North American racing history.
The Unbridled three-year-old trudged through a sloppy and wet track to win the Derby in a last-to-first performance. Triple Crown™ hopes were dashed with a fourth-place finish at the Preakness, before coming in third at the Belmont.
I’ll Have Another (2012)
Purchased for a mere $35,000 and entering the gate at 15-1 odds, I’ll Have Another beat 4-1 Bodemeister by more than a length with a rally down the home-stretch. I’ll Have Another next claimed the Preakness. With an obvious Triple Crown™ within sight, he was entered into the Belmont, but was scratched the day before the race due to tendonitis in his left front leg. He is currently at stud in Japan.
Animal Kingdom (2011)
With a replacement jockey aboard, this 20-1 longshot claimed the Derby by three lengths. His closing final half mile of :47 1/5 was the second quickest in Derby history, behind only Secretariat (1973). He came close to winning the Preakness with a runner-up finish, but a slow start on a sloppy track contributed to a sixth place finish in the Belmont. A Dubai World Cup win in his five-year-old season was a fitting farewell.
Super Saver (2010)
The first Derby victory for trainer Todd Pletcher, Super Saver gave jockey Calvin Borel a third win in four years. Having taken control up the rail in the last quarter mile, he stretched out for a 2 1/2 length win on a very sloppy track. An eighth-place finish in the Preakness was rather deflating, and Super Saver didn’t run at the Belmont.
Mine That Bird (2009)
A massive longshot coming into the Derby, Mine That Bird won at 50/1. A near 7-length victory for only the second gelding to win since 1929, he followed up his Derby win with a solid runner-up placing in the Preakness, before closing out with third place in the Belmont. In 2014, Mine That Bird’s story was made into a movie, 50-1.
Big Brown (2008)
Becoming the first horse to win the Derby with just three previous races under his belt, Big Brown will be viewed by history as a ‘what if’ story. A horse that personified perfection heading to the Belmont with a Triple Crown™ on the line, he fell apart in the home-stretch, failing to finish in his pursuit of history, the Belmont Stakes was the only defeat of his career.
Street Sense (2007)
Jockey Calvin Borel waited until the final quarter of a mile to move Street Sense to the outside and he responded by moving all the way up from next-to-last for a 2 1/4-length Derby victory. He was the first 2-year-old in nearly 20 years to win the Derby, but finished second to Curlin at the Preakness and skipped the Belmont.
The 2017 Kentucky Derby: Witness History
If the last ten running’s of the Kentucky Derby have taught us anything it’s this: racing’s biggest asset and pull for fans is its level of unpredictability. In the last ten years, we have seen just one horse complete the coveted run to a Triple Crown victory. Sure, there have been some close calls; Big Brown and California Chrome springing to mind. However, this is racing at the highest level; the elite. Born to win, each thoroughbred has the capability to beat anyone on any given day.
The world stops when it’s Kentucky Derby post time. Described best as the most exciting two minutes in sports, nothing beats the roar of the crowd from the Churchill Downs pantheon of noise. Book your official ticket package with Derby Experiences today to experience the incredible premium seating locations, unmatched access to exclusive hospitality, and more!
The term “Triple Crown™” is very much regarded as a household phrase. Though Sir Barton was the first horse to complete the feat of victories in the Kentucky Derby®, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes in 1919, the verbiage first went to print in 1923. The New York Times wrote in a year where the Preakness preceded the Derby, “Thomas J. Healey had Walter J. Salmon’s Preakness winner, Vigil, and his owner wired today that he would be here” — in Louisville, Ky. — “Friday to see his colt try to capture his second classic in the triple crown of the American turf.”
However, it was not until 1930 that the term gained some traction. As Gallant Fox romped to a Triple Crown™ victory, Charles Hatton of the Daily Racing Form popularized the phrase. To suggest Hatton coined the phrase would be factually incorrect, however. Hatton stated in 1989, “some of the 3-year-olds who ran at Louisville went on to run at Pimlico and in the Belmont, and I found it journalistically clumsy to keep referring to these races by names. And I had always felt we should have a Triple Crown as they did in England. So I took those three races and called them the Triple Crown. It got me off the composition hook, and before long it came to mean something to people in racing.”
And mean something it did. In hindsight, it was not until 1935 when Omaha won all three races that it began to gain some traction. Omaha was followed by Whirlaway in 1941, Count Fleet in 1943, Assault in 1946 and Citation in 1948.
The Triple Crown™: Leading Lights
Since 1948, four horses have completed the feat. No man has dominated the Triple Crown™ series since the turn of the 20th century more than jockey Eddie Arcaro. Rider of a total of seventeen Triple Crown™ winners; 5 Kentucky Derby’s, 6 Preakness wins and 6 victories in the Belmont Stakes. Arcaro, who was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1958, steered Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948) to Triple Crown™ victories, the only rider in history to do so twice.
In more recent times, Victor Espinoza has been the leading jockey on the Triple Crown™ front. Winner of the prize in 2015 with American Pharoah, California Chrome proved to be fruitful for Espinoza in 2014, a Kentucky Derby and Preakness, before falling short in the Belmont Stakes. War Emblem did the same in 2002.
Wayne Lukas has 14 wins in the three races, the Preakness being the most fruitful for the Louisville-based trainer. Though a Triple Crown™ win has thus far eclipsed Lukas, Charismatic came close in 1999 when falling short in the third and final leg in the Belmont Stakes, finishing third.
Of course, the king and focal point of all Triple Crown™ races is Secretariat, the 1972 winner of the crown. Holder of all three course records in each of the classics, Secretariat is, without question, the greatest horse ever to grace this wonderful competition of thoroughbred racing.
The 2017 Kentucky Derby®
The world stops when it’s Kentucky Derby post time. Described best as the two most exciting minutes in sports, nothing beats the roar of the crowd from the grand aul Churchill Downs pantheon of noise. Book your official ticket package with Derby Experiences today to experience the incredible premium seating locations, unmatched access to exclusive hospitality, and more!
Over the years, Derby Experiences has expanded its program to include 28 total packages combining different views, hospitality venues, hotel accommodations, transportation options, and more. Ah, the tyranny of choice – we know it can seem overwhelming to be faced with such a vast array of different options, so we’ve put together a collection of 360° videos of our most popular seating areas and hospitality venues. Check out each video below, or click here for the full playlist of videos!
The newly-renovated Stakes Room was a big hit with guests at the 2016 Derby. This area offers indoor dining room seating at tables of 4, 6, or 8 and features breathtaking views of the entire track from its viewing platform on the finish line. Its in-suite hospitality includes gourmet food buffets, a premium open bar, private wagering stations, and celebrity appearances. Stakes Room packages also provides access to the Stakes Room Balcony, which overlooks the track, the paddock, and the iconic Twin Spires.
Stakes Room Balcony
This private covered terrace includes outdoor seating at tables of 4, 6, or 8 with unobstructed views of the paddock area, Twin Spires, and finish line. Guests also receive access to the Stakes Room (see above) and everything that comes with its lavish in-suite hospitality.
Millionaires Row offers 4th- or 6th-floor premium indoor seating at tables of 8 as well as access to a private viewing platform with views of the entire track and finish line. Full-service in-suite hospitality includes gourmet food buffets, private wagering stations, and full bars.
The newly-renovated Turf Club boasts premium indoor dining room seating at tables of 4 or 6 featuring panoramic views of the track and finish line. This is where guests are likely to spot celebrities, who often frequent the Turf Club! In-suite hospitality offers gourmet food service, a premium open bar, live wagering stations, and more.
Turf Club Roses Terrace
This newly-renovated, 3rd-floor area of the Turf Club features outdoor dining-style seating with panoramic views of the track from seats on the finish line. Roses Terrace guests also have access to the Turf Club (see above), which offers full-service in-suite hospitality as well as frequent celebrity sightings.
Turf Club Balcony
This new 3rd-floor space offers open-air seating under cover at tables of 6 or 8 with privileged views of the paddock area. Access to the Turf Club (see above) is also included, which offers full-service in-suite hospitality as well as frequent celebrity sightings.
The Trophy Room offers indoor dining room seating at tables of 8 with unobstructed views of the paddock area and finish line from the Finish Line Suites Balcony. Its full-service in-suite hospitality provides gourmet food buffets, a premium open bar, private wagering stations, and more.
Finish Line Suites Balcony
This private covered terrace offers outdoor dining room seating at tables of 4 or 6 with unobstructed views of the paddock area and finish line. This package also includes full-service, in-suite hospitality with gourmet food buffets, a premium open bar, private wagering stations, and more.
Clubhouse Gold packages provide 3rd-floor, open-air box seating near the finish line with stunning views of the entire track as well as the exciting finish. Premium hospitality in Aristides Lounge is also included, featuring all-you-can-eat buffets, a premium open bar, wagering stations, a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet, and more.
The Clubhouse Courtyard provides outdoor seating with views of racehorses entering the racetrack from the paddock area as well as the crossing of the finish line. Full-service, in-suite hospitality with gourmet food buffets, a premium open bar, and private wagering stations is also included.
Clubhouse Yellow packages offer open-air box seating with exciting views of the first turn and the crossing of the finish line. In-track hospitality in Citation Lounge is also included, featuring a one-time lunch buffet, a full bar, wagering stations, a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet, and more.
Grandstand Blue packages provide 3rd-floor, stadium-style seating with views of the starting line and the final stretch. Deluxe hospitality in Sunny’s Halo Lounge is also included, offering an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, complimentary drinks, and a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet.
This 2nd-floor seating area offers direct views of the entire track and the crossing of the finish line. Grandstand Red packages also include classic hospitality in Smarty Jones Lounge with a one-time lunch buffet, a full bar, wagering stations, a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet, and more.
This area provides 3rd-floor, open-air box seating with elevated views of the starting line and final stretch as well as deluxe hospitality in Affirmed Lounge. Grandstand Orange ticket packages also include access to the Taste of Derby Party on Thursday night, where guests mingle alongside celebrities and masterful chefs while sampling delicacies and enjoying live entertainment.
This in-track, climate-controlled venue is located on the 2nd floor of the Clubhouse area, just above Gate 17 and behind Sections 316 and 317. Aristides offers live entertainment, all-you-can-eat buffets, a premium open bar, a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet, wagering stations, and much more.
This exclusive in-track, climate-controlled setting is located within the Kentucky Derby Museum at Gate 1. Access includes live entertainment on Oaks and Derby days, a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet, all-you-can-eat buffets, a bourbon lounge, full bars, live wagering tellers, and more.
Sunny’s Halo Lounge
Situated outdoors on the rooftop behind Sections 326-328, this in-track hospitality venue offers open seating, partially covered seating, and fresh air. Guests will be treated to a one-time lunch buffet, complimentary beverages, available cocktails, a live betting parlor, and a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet.
This exclusive in-track venue offers reserved seating and is conveniently situated behind Section 110, providing guests with heavy hors d’oeuvres, a one-time lunch buffet, a full bar, wagering stations, a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet, and more.
Smarty Jones Lounge
Located on the Grandstand side of Churchill Downs near Gate 1, this exclusive in-track hospitality venue is an elegant chalet with open seating. Smarty Jones hospitality includes a one-time lunch buffet, a full bar, wagering stations, a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet, and more.
Get a True 360° View by Attending the 2017 Kentucky Derby®!
We know these videos are a great way to catch a glimpse of the different seating areas and hospitality venues at the Derby, but what’s even better is seeing it all for yourself in person. Follow the link below to explore all ticket packages!
Kentucky Derby® winning jockey MarioGutierrez leads the nominations for this year’s ESPY’s Jockey of the Year award, with the ceremony taking place on July 13 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Gutierrez, who steered Nyquist to glory in this year’s Derby, is looking to collect the award for the second time after claiming the prize in 2011. Nyquist, who will look to return to the track soon following the first loss of his career in the Preakness Stakes, has won five Grade 1 races for Gutierrez.
Nyquist’s old foe Exaggerator is too represented in this category in the shape of veteran jockey KentDesormeaux. Kent, whose brother Keith trains Preakness winner, is also a previous winner of this award. Despite experiencing an indifferent campaign thus far aboard Exaggerator, second in the Derby, followed by a win over Nyquist in the Preakness to his most recent outing, a discouraging 11th in the Belmont despite going off heavy favorite, connections will remain hopeful team Desormeaux may yet finish this season out with a flourish.
The third and final winner of this season’s Triple Crown™ series, Creator in the Belmont Stakes, is justifiably included in the conversation with jockey IradOrtizJr. Ortiz Jr, who produced a quite spectacular ride aboard grey Creator in winning the Belmont, is the novice of the nominees, though bags of potential put into motion throughout the Belmont Stakes, where his cool head prevailed.
The field of four is made up by JavierCastellano. Though without a Triple Crown™ winner to his name this season, Castellano has been a model of consistency over the course of the season, with numerous Grade 1 winners to his name, as well as collecting the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey for the past three seasons running.
2017 Kentucky Derby®
The world stops when it’s Kentucky Derby post time. Described best as the two most exciting minutes in sports, nothing beats the roar of the crowd from the grand aul Churchill Downs pantheon of noise. Book your official ticket package with Derby Experiences today to experience the incredible premium seating locations, unmatched access to exclusive hospitality, and more!
In the wake of the incredible performance of Wynonna Judd at our 2016 Fillies & Lilies Party comes an announcement we couldn’t be more excited to make: The legendary Clint Black, who’s released 22 #1 country singles and is a graduate of country’s old school, will be headlining the Fillies & Lilies Party in 2017. That smooth-as-buttermilk voice will reverberate through the halls of the Kentucky Derby® Museum next year during an intimate performance that’s reserved exclusively for Derby Experiences’ guests.
The Early Years
Clint Black was one of the quintessential voices of 90’s country. He’s no phony or imitation, either – Black grew up living the rural life in Katy, Texas on the outskirts of Houston. By the time he was a teenager, he’d taught himself how to play harmonica, guitar, and bass as well as how to write his own music. Black originally made music with his brothers, performing at backyard barbecues for the neighbors and eventually dropping out of high school to join the band.
When Black embarked on his solo career, his overarching goal was to keep his brand of country as pure and as true to the original greats as possible. Citing George Jones and Merle Haggard as his primary sources of inspiration, country traditionalist Black followed in the steps of popular artists like George Strait and Reba McEntire to return the genre to its classic roots. Though he had to keep up odd jobs in construction and fishing to make ends meet during his first 6 years of performing in lounges, Black finally broke through in the late 1980s and signed a record deal with RCA Records.
After signing with RCA, Black quickly recorded and released his debut album, Killin’ Time, in 1989. This release spawned 5 consecutive #1 country hits – highly impressive for an established artist, but unheard-of as far as new artists went. Black’s brand of country possessed a twangy swing style with a voice reminiscent of bluegrass acts, but with the gentler pace of customary country.
After this initial success, expectations quickly escalated. Black was voted second in a 1990 survey of country music insiders by the Los Angeles Times to see which artist they thought would sell the most records over a 7-year period – Garth Brooks came in first, if that tells you anything about how high Black had climbed with his debut album. This newcomer was quickly gaining traction and notoriety, eventually getting lumped into Nashville’s ‘hat acts’ with the likes of Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Mark Chesnutt as well as being inducted into country music’s ‘Class of 1989’.
Black carried this success through nearly two decades, insisting on writing the bulk of his own music with very little borrowing from others. After selling nearly 12 million albums with RCA over the course of 14 years, he decided to establish his own record label in 2003 – Equity Music Group.
Though he’s taken a couple of sabbaticals from performing, he’s continued to write and record new material when he’s inspired to do so. His most recent album, On Purpose, is his tenth studio recording and he made it for himself – not for a label, not to fit in with the new country sound, not to employ an industry trend. It harkens back to the down-home sound he produced in his early days with no verses being rapped or guitars being shredded.
The album’s lyrics reflect his life during his hiatus, and our favorite song by far has to be the duet with his wife, Lisa Hartman Black, titled “You Still Get to Me.” Just last fall, Black commented on the songs he performs on stage with her: “[When she] starts singing, it does something to me. I know the wonderful person behind that voice so it becomes a great big joy for me." How sweet and authentic is that?!
Over the years, Black has been acknowledged on multiple platforms as an incredible musician, singer, and songwriter. Some of his most notable achievements include:
Academy of Country Music
1989 Album of the Year – "Killin' Time"
1989 Top Male Vocalist
1989 Top New Male Vocalist
1989 Single of the Year – "A Better Man"
1999 Vocal Event of the Year with Lisa Hartman Black – "When I Said I Do"
American Music Awards
1990 Favorite Country New Artist
Country Music Association
1989 Horizon Award
1990 Male Vocalist of the Year
Catch Clint Black’s Live Performance at the Fillies & Lilies Party!
The 4th annual Fillies and Lilies Party will benefit a worthy charity and promises an evening full of delicious cuisine, drinks, and entertainment!
Located right on the grounds of Churchill Downs in the Derby Museum, this Oaks night party is an ideal end to a thrilling day at the track. In an intimate setting amidst the allure of the Derby exhibits and tradition of America’s oldest sporting event, the Fillies & Lilies Party will feature an exclusive live performance, a premium open bar, a bourbon lounge, heavy hors d’oeuvres, dancing, and much more. Dress in cocktail attire or wear your Derby outfit – it’s up to you!
If you are, like us, feeling a void in your life as the illustrious Triple Crown™ season has now drawn to a close; fear not, there are just over 300 days until the first jewel in the crown of the Triple Crown™ and the most exciting two minutes in sport: The 2017 Kentucky Derby®!
While this season’s Triple Crown™ script ebbed and flowed, from Nyquist’s cutting edge performance in the Derby, to Exaggerator raining on his parade by turning the tables in the mud in the Preakness and Creator’s shock victory over a mile-and-a-half in the Belmont Stakes, we were greeted with excitement, tension and shock, if not a thirteenth winner of the Triple Crown™.
The term ‘Triple Crown™’ was coined by Charles Hatton of the Daily Racing Form in 1930 after Gallant Fox won all three races. Though some journalists used the phrase to refer to the races as far back as 1923 (Sir Barton was the first to complete the Triple Crown™ in 1919), Hatton is regarded as pitting the term into common use.
Triple Crown™ Facts
Before we gauge Triple Crown™ winner according to rank, let’s take a look at some facts and figures:
The Triple Crown™ series only technically became possible with the inauguration of the Kentucky Derby in 1875. The Belmont Stakes was first run in 1867 and the Preakness in 1873.
Since 1931, the order of Triple Crown™ races has been the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes, and then the Belmont Stakes.
Each Triple Crown™ race is open to bothcolts and fillies. Though fillies have won each of the individual Triple Crown™ races, none have won the Triple Crown itself.
The three Triple Crown™ races have attracted over 4,000 entrants to date. Of these, 289 horses have won a single leg of the Triple Crown™, 52 horses have won two of the races (23 the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, 18 the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, and 11 the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes).
Only one horse, Alydar, has finished second in all three races. He was defeated by 1978 Triple Crown™ winner Affirmed in all three races by a total margin of two lengths.
Since all three races came into existence, 23 horses have the first two legs of the Triple Crown™ (Derby and Preakness), but failed in the Belmont. In recent years, I’ll Have Another (2012), was scratched from the Belmont the day before the race and California Chrome (2014) finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes.
The 5 Greatest Triple Crown™ Winners of All-Time
Winning the Triple Crown is an incredible achievement, but does it make an ordinary horse great? When considering the long history of all three races, the answer to that question is no, not necessarily. Twelve horses have swept the famed series, not all of them were great, but some were the greatest thoroughbreds of all time. Here, we rank the best 5:
5. Affirmed, 1978.
Almost as well known for his rivalry with Alydar as winning the Triple Crown. The two battled all three races, finishing one-two in each. Affirmed later went head to head with Seattle Slew, the only time Triple Crown winners have met each other, with Slew winning both of the races.
4. War Admiral, 1937.
He was difficult at the starting gate and delayed the Kentucky Derby by eight minutes and the Belmont by nine. Nonetheless, he was clearly the best horse that year. He was painted as the antagonist in the movie "Seabiscuit," losing a match race to America’s hero. Bred by his owner Samuel D. Riddle, he was sired by Man o’ War, winner of the 1920 Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
3. Citation, 1948.
The first horse ever to win $1 million, Citation was the eighth winner of the Triple Crown™. He won the Jersey Stakes by 11 lengths betweenthe Preakness and Belmont. His usual jockey Al Snider never actually made it to the Triple Crown™ races as he drowned while fishing, replaced by Eddie Arcaro. Later in his career, Citation won 16 straight North American stakes races, a feat only to be bettered by the outstanding mare Zenyatta many moons later in 2010.
2. Seattle Slew, 1977.
Seattle Slew became the first horse to become a Triple Crown™ winner having never previously lost a race to that point. Having gone off as a 1-2 favorite for the Kentucky Derby, his best showing was undoubtedly in the Belmont Stakes. His best race was the Belmont, his coronation, which he won by four lengths. Seattle Slew’s greatest feat was his ability to justify favoritism every time he went on the track
1. Secretariat, 1973.
Seeing is believing, and Secretariat had to be seen to be believed. Voted by ESPN as the 35th best athlete of the 20th century, Secretariat was simply the greatest thoroughbred in racing history. His 31-length victory in the Belmont Stakes is the most spectacular showing in horse racing history. Why so good? A horse of huge stature and phenomenal power, he was a physical freak. Upon his autopsy, his heart was found to be twice the size of a normal heart, allowing him to process oxygen in way that gave him such great stamina. To this day, Secretariat holds the record time for all three Triple Crown™ races; theKentucky Derby in 1:59, thePreakness Stakes, clocked at 1:53, and theBelmont (2:24).
Be There in 2017!
Enough to whet the appetite? Methinks so. Nothing beats being there, don’t miss your chance to witness the Triple Crown™ in 2017 as it unfolds! Get your exclusive package, as guests will enjoy privileged views of the track and high-end amenities such as gourmet dining, open bars, outdoor viewing platforms and private wagering stations. Book your official ticket package with DerbyExperiences today to experience the incredible premium seating locations, unmatched access to exclusive hospitality, and more!
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