First Timers' Guide to the Kentucky Derby

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What to Bring to the 2014 Kentucky Derby


Derby Experiences Kentucky Derby Grandstand vantage pointIt’s that time of year! We are a little over three weeks away from the 2014 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, so you need to know what you can and cannot bring with you inside the grounds of Churchill Downs. Knowing in advance will help you plan what to pack and what to bring with you. After all, you don’t want face any confusions that will hinder you from attending!

If you’re looking for guides on what to wear, we have that for you here:

The Ladies Guide on How to Dress for the Kentucky Derby>>>

The Gentleman’s Guide on How to Dress for the Kentucky Derby>>>

This article is strictly to inform you on what you can and what you cannot bring with you inside Churchill. Because there are such large crowds inside the track, it’s important that the safety of spectators and the horses are taken into consideration. Let’s start by taking a look at the items that you are permitted to bring with you on Kentucky Derby day!

Items Permitted inside Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby & Oaks Days

The following items are allowed on race days:

• Purses no larger than 12” in any dimension

• Small cameras, however they must not have detachable lenses or lenses of 6” or more

• Sunscreen, in non glass containers only

• Binoculars

• Cell phones and tablets

• Seat cushions with no backs

• Personal music systems, radios or televisions

• Strollers and baby/diaper bags only if accompanied by a child

• Water and soft drinks in clear, plastic bottles that are sealed/unopened

• “Box” lunches or food in clear plastic bags or containers with max size of 18” by 18”, no grocery or trash bags

• Blankets and tarpaulins at gates one and three only

• Chairs at gate three only

**Limit of two bags per person

Items Prohibited inside Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby & Oaks Days

The following items are not permitted for any exception on race days:

• Cans, glass bottles or containers of any size of type

• Pop up or patron tents with poles or stakes of any kind

• Camcorders/video cameras

• Coolers or thermoses

• Cameras with detachable lenses or a lens larger than 6”

• Grills

• Alcoholic beverages

• Tripods

• Purses larger than 12” in any dimension or backpacks

• Luggage or duffel bags

• Wagons

• Umbrellas

• Weapons, including knives

• Fireworks, noisemakers, air horns, laser pointers/lights, mace or pepper spray of any kind

Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll reply promptly.

Yes, those lists are a little overwhelming. Fortunately, many of things you would want to bring inside Churchill with you that are either prohibited or a struggle to carry in while meeting regulations, you can find inside the grounds of the track.

An even simpler, less expensive solution? Official Ticket Packages through Churchill Downs Official Ticket Package and Hospitality Provider, Derby Experiences!

Get Coveted Access at the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks

Derby Experiences Kentucky Derby Grandstand OverviewThe best way to eliminate the hassle of planning what you can and cannot bring with you inside Churchill Downs is to purchase an Official Ticket Package instead of just a ticket!

Not only will this grant you access to both Oaks and Derby race days, you’ll also have access to an exclusive hospitality access with coveted amenities. Inside is complimentary gourmet food, an open or cash bar, comfortable seating, private wagering stations, interactive elements, simulcast TV coverage of track activities, and much more! It’s the ultimate Kentucky Derby party where everything is provided for!

Not to mention, Hollywood stars, athletes and celebrity jockeys will be making appearances throughout the day to meet YOU!

With Official Ticket Packages starting at just $299, getting unparalleled access is affordable and you’re ensured to have the experience of a lifetime! You can even upgrade your Official Ticket Package will access to the Fillies & Lilies Party or Taste of Derby Party.

Get more information on Derby Experiences Official Ticket Packages today and plan your Kentucky Derby experience with no hassles! 

Get Info on 2014 Kentucky Derby

How to Get Tickets to 2014 Kentucky Derby Parties


Derby Experiences About The Kentucky Derby The Kentucky Derby Finish LineEveryone knows that half of the fun of attending the Kentucky Derby is getting access to all the exclusive Kentucky Derby parties! After all, when you’re going to an event that is flooded with celebrities, why would you not celebrate like them, with them!

Yes, getting an invite to these elaborate Official Kentucky Derby parties is clutch and not many get the opportunity. Luckily for you, I’m here to tell you that YOU can be on the VIP invite list! How do you score a ticket? Keep reading!

For starters, there are two big parties that you will want to be at. These two parties are where all the A-list Hollywood stars, professional athletes, models and rock stars will be. They are the Taste of Derby™ Party and the Fillies & Lilies Party, presented by Derby Experiences.

Take a look at these parties and figure out which one is the perfect fit for you and your group (OR just be at both!).

The Fillies & Lilies Party, Presented by Derby Experiences

Fillies and Lilies Logo FinalFeaturing live music performed by five-time Grammy Award winner, Wynonna Judd, the Fillies & Lilies Party will be popping! On Friday, May 2, the eve of the Derby and directly following the Kentucky Oaks, you’ll make your way right outside the gates of Churchill Downs to the Kentucky Derby Museum.

You’ll dance the night away to Wynonna & The Big Noise amidst the allure of the Derby exhibits that celebrate America’s oldest sporting event! As you mingle with the celebrities in attendance, enjoy complimentary heavy hors d’oeuvres, a premium open bar, a bourbon lounge, and more!

Magician to the stars, Matthew Furman, will also be in attendance to surprise and thrill you will his latest assortment of tricks and mind illusions.

A few of the confirmed celebrities in attendance at the first annual Fillies & Lilies Party are:

• Wynonna Judd
• Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Oliva Rene, Jackie Bob, Lauren Williams and Mia Greenhouse
• Model and Actress from Django: Unchained, Nichole Galicia

Don’t miss your chance to bring in the 2014 Kentucky Derby right! Celebrate the night before at Derby Experiences’ Fillies & Lilies Party!

Get Tickets Now!

The Taste of Derby™ Party

Derby Experiences Kentucky Derby Parties Taste of Derby Food TastingOn Thursday, May 1, the eve of the Kentucky Oaks, make your way to the Kentucky Exposition Center for the 5th annual Taste of Derby party!

You’ll be invited to sample dishes from popular horse racing destinations across the country prepared by Masterful Chefs, all the while mingling with celebrities and enjoying the open bar. From the delectable cuisine to the live music, and red carpet, the Taste of Derby™ is a celebration to remember!

Not to mention, partial proceeds of the Taste of Derby™ go towards benefiting hunger relief organizations. So while you’re dancing the night away and enjoying all the 2014 Kentucky Derby has to offer, you’ll also be making a difference in the lives of others.

Get Tickets Now!

It’s Time to Select the Kentucky Derby Party Perfect for Your Group

Still not certain which Official 2014 Kentucky Derby party is perfect for you and your group? Not surprising. After all, with all the access, inclusions and benefits of each, it can be hard to choose!

Derby Experiences is here to help you select the perfect Kentucky Derby party to complete your trip to Louisville. For more information to help you decide, visit our website or call 1-88-384-7088 to speak to a representative. We're here to help you get there!


Get More Info on Kentucky Derby Parties

Breeders’ Cup Race Replays and Handicapping Kentucky Derby & Oaks


breeders cup 2014 quinteventsLike the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup Championships are never too far away in the minds of horsemen and horseplayers alike. The Breeders’ Cup two-year-old performances are especially fascinating to review this time of year for handicapping the Oaks and Derby as they give important insight into the way a particular horse has developed and matured.

Further, I have often forgotten how good those Breeders’ Cup performances were until I re-live them on video replays. Any two-year-old colt or filly that competed in the Breeders’ Cup had already displayed champion qualities with precociousness, willingness, talent, and soundness during the early rigors of training as “babies.” Often as “new” horses emerge on the Road to the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks, it becomes easy to focus on dazzling single race victories of the new names maturing this spring over the consistency of several horses who have remained good over time.

See 2014 Breeders' Cup Schedule>>>

Growing Up from the Breeders’ Cup to the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks

The first change of note when watching the Juvenile races is the most obvious: the physical change. Most of the horses are taller now, and are generally carrying more weight with more muscle mass and definition now as three-year-olds. But even more important than the physical maturity is to note mental changes of some horses in particular.

I saw a lot more anxious horses in the paddock and post parade. There were longer load times in the starting gate and generally more “green” behavior – all to be expected of youngsters. I digress to make a comparison with some of the popular singing competitions. The difference between the same competitors at the audition compared to the finale can be dramatic. For example, Kelly Clarkson showed her talent to sing in the audition at American Idol®, but as she honed her performance skills and style, she was barely recognizable as the same performer when the confetti fell on her winning night.

The most interesting aspect of reviewing the races on video was to observe how some Derby and Oaks contenders have defined their “style” of running. By style, I am referring to whether a horse is a pace-setter or a closer. And further, does this horse now show a pattern in their races leading up to the Oaks and Derby that suggest a predilection and success for that style. The answer is … yes!

Get Info on 2014 Breeders' Cup =

As an example, let’s examine two fillies who will likely command top spots for who I believe will win the Kentucky Oaks when I complete my final selection.


untapable kentucky oaks 2014 derby experiencesThe first filly to scrutinize is Untapable. I have observed this filly even prior to her win in the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs, her run in the Breeders’ Cup and every major Kentucky Oaks prep race. She just keeps getting better.

Untapable has run her best races when she can be rated just off the pace-setting leaders. This suggests that the filly likes to have a target to run at, but does not like to be behind so many horses that she gets a lot of kick-back from the track in her face. She has good tactical speed so that she can break sharply and find her spot. She then relaxes and sets a pace where she is asked to quicken that pace with each increasing furlong.

In fact, Untapable’s worst effort occurred in the Breeders’ Cup where she was allowed to rate too far back into the field. Reviewing the race, you could tell that she was uncomfortable and was never able to settle into a cadence that allowed her to conserve energy.

Certainly trainer Steve Asmussen observed the same thing and he made certain to give the jockey instructions to get her closer to the pace in successive races and get her clear of too much track debris. She is undefeated since!

In the paddock, Untapable is flawless and knows exactly what to do – a professional race horse. She is extremely focused, attentive to her handlers and does not waste any energy by getting over-anxious or getting roused by the crowds.


The second filly I studied closely is Rosalind. I was also able to watch this filly develop as a two-year-old from her first days at the track at Churchill Downs. She also competed in the Pocahontas Stakes finishing a game third. But again, I had forgotten how good Rosalind’s race was at the Breeders’ Cup until I watched the race again several times.

The filly actually galloped out in front of the photo finish pair of She’s a Tiger and winner, Ria Antonia. With just a bit more distance or a split second move a bit earlier in the stretch, she would have won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies handily! The most telling was to examine still photos of Rosalind with her ears pricked forward as she crossed the wire – clearly believing she won – she just didn’t get the title in ink.

In sharp contract to Untapable, Rosalind does her best running in the final furlong. Rosalind’s closing style allows her to gallop comfortably behind the pack apparently not bothered by kick-back. She can observe changes in the race unfolding in front of her and she gains confidence as she passes rivals. This filly is able to drop into a different gear as she circles the field and then sprints to the wire with an amazing turn of foot.

Rosalind’s style has also become a consistent pattern and her most recent race in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland was a gutty performance where she came from way off the pace and six wide to hit the wire in a dead heat with Room Service. Trainer Kenny McPeek gave her a bit more time off over the winter to “grow up,” and he has added blinkers to her racing equipment so help her maintain focus in the midst of early traffic. Many will forget that her dirt races are as good as her polytrack effort. The Keeneland win will be the last impression for many who will dismiss her, but I will not!

Additionally, trainer McPeek has scheduled Rosalind’s races so that her third start of the season is the Kentucky Oaks. There is a bit of “magic” in the power of three in racing. The first race back off a lay-off is for fitness. There is just not a better way to get race fit than to race.

In the second race back, the horse is getting back in the groove – like the second shot at the free throw line or the second and third downs in football. Fitness is again honed in the second start. The third start, the horse is now in peak fitness and mentally ready. The old saying “third times a charm” is actually race track jargon and wise old handicappers knew when it was ripe to play their wagers.

Get Info on 2014 Kentucky Oaks

Colts Who Could Be Kentucky Derby Bound

Kentucky Derby 2014 First Turn Clubhouse Race Derby Experiences QuintEventsThe review of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for colts was not as telling since so many of those top-placed colts have been sidelined for injuries or are otherwise not competing.
A couple of horses to note include Medal Count. This colt showed early brilliance and he was in my picks at Breeders’ Cup. He is massive in size and I can only assume that trainer Dale Romans has had to use his best horsemanship and patience as this colt kept growing and adding weight to young bones and joints.

Medal Count showed he has worked through these issues with a stunning performance in the Transylvania Stakes just two weeks ago. He needs points to make the Kentucky Derby, so the Bluegrass Stakes this weekend is telling.

We Miss Artie is another colt that has shown consistency over time. He finished mid-pack in the Breeders’ Cup and in most of his dirt races. He seems to prefer polytrack as his wins have come over that surface at Keeneland and Turfway Park, but he comes to the Derby with his last race as a win and you can never discount the mental points given to a horse and his confidence with a victory.

His races might be “sneaky good” as the pedigree definitely supports the horse being able to go the Kentucky Derby distance. This might be one to keep in your exotics to hit the board.

Get Info on 2014 Kentucky Derby

The Gentleman’s Guide on How to Dress for the Kentucky Derby


With the 2014 Kentucky Derby less than a month away, it’s time to start planning what you’re going to wear. While you might think that finding the perfect Kentucky Derby outfit would be the harder for the ladies and a cake walk for the gents, in realty, just as many factors come into play for the guys!

The Ladies Guide on How to Dress for the Kentucky Derby>>>

So fellas, don’t think we’ve left you out! Keep on reading so you know exactly what to bring with you to Louisville to have a rocking Kentucky Derby outfit, and be sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it when you’re packing!

Sophistication Meets Southern Flair

One of the great things about dressing for the Kentucky Derby is that it gives you a chance to really go out of your element! Typically, when you’re thinking of a men’s outfit that is suave and sophisticated, you think of a suit in neutral colors. Guys are never really given the chance to rock bright colors and patterns in their everyday attire without getting some strange looks.

Luckily, this kind of southern flair is welcomed with open arms at the Kentucky Derby! So, check out these five tips that are going to help you select your most dapper Kentucky Derby outfit!

1. The Suit

RS25377 DT61487(2) 0Whether you want to go for a traditional material or seersucker, you can’t go wrong – after all, it’s more so about the colors! Don’t be afraid to try patterns such as stripes, checkers or pin points for your pants, jacket or both.

If you elect to wear a fully patterned suit or a patterned jacket or pants, be sure to pair it with a solid, complimentary colored button up shirt so your outfit isn’t too loud.

And if you’d rather select a suit that is bright and solid colored, find a bright patterned shirt to supply some texture to your attire!

As for shoes, you’ll want to choose a pair that is comfortable since you’ll spend majority of your days at Churchill on your feet. We’ve found loafers tend to complete this look the best.

2. The Tie

RS26873 DJD 9038Whether you prefer the necktie or the bowtie, a tie is essential to looking suave at the Kentucky Derby because it is what is going to bring your outfit full circle. If you’re selecting a patterned suit and jacket, it might be best to choose a solid color tie whose color compliments your pattern.

However, if you’ve chosen just a patterned jacket, pants or shirt, feel free to choose a brightly patterned tie!

Just remember to try and only have two different patterns in your Kentucky Derby outfit – your goal is to be bold, but you don’t want to lose the sophistication element.

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3. Accessories aren’t just for the Ladies

I know, I know. You hear accessories and you think that’s for the ladies! But nope, it’s time to accessorize, gents! How can you tack on the accessories to you outfit, you might ask?

Keep it simple! It’s easy to class up any attire with a fancy watch, and it IS the Kentucky Derby, so don’t rule out the idea of a tasteful hat! Find a hat that matches your suit or compliments the colors you’re wearing and you’re golden!

Another thing you’ll want to remember? Sunglasses! Although the Louisville weather is unpredictable, we’re hoping for sunshine and lots of it, so you’ll want to ensure your eyes are protected.

RS25171  MG 5588Final Words of Wisdom

Finally, as you’re selecting your Kentucky Derby outfit, remember that your confidence wearing it is what truly makes the attire! Take a little advice from the Kentucky Derby, “No matter what you wear, it’s how you wear it, gentlemen.”

And you’re ready! If you have any questions about whether or not you’re dapper enough for the Derby, or if you’re looking for more fashion tips, let us know in the comments below!

Get More Kentucky Derby Fashion Tips

Churchill Downs' New Grandstand will be Complete by 2014 Kentucky Derby



We’re ready for the 2014 Kentucky Derby® and so is Churchill Downs®! The track has been in the process of building the world’s largest video board, a brand new grandstand to accommodate seating for even more guests, and a new hospitality venue, aptly called “Sunny’s Halo Lounge,” a Rooftop Party Deck. Despite questions about completion, we’re here to assure you it will all be ready for the Derby weekend!

The rainy weather did not fair well for the start of the construction causing several pauses in the process, but with the weather back on track in Louisville, construction kicked into high gear with 24-hour around-the-clock progress.

The New Grandstand is Almost Ready! Take a Look!

The new elevated views of the starting line and final stretch and the visibility of the new and largest video board in the world make this new grandstand primed for an amazing Derby Experience.

The new grandstand was designed for a more intimate and less obstructed viewing experience boasting a reduced five row stadium style tiered seating structure and a new adjacent Hospitality venue that will allow Derby-goers a place to view live racing action while enjoying all the perks of the Rooftop Party Deck, Sunny’s Halo Lounge – a first for Churchill Downs.

So get ready to get social with access to this exclusive grandstand and Lounge. Indulge in your complimentary lunch buffet, beer, wine and soft drinks, and bask in celebrity appearances, and amazing views while hearing the thundering hooves, and cheering on these equine athletes!

Secure My Seat in the New Grandstand & Sunny’s Halo Lounge for the Kentucky Derby!

There’s no denying the new grandstand is where you want to be for the 140th running! If you’re not sold on the views alone (let’s face it, the start and finish point are the most important anyways), then take a look at all the VIP access and exclusive inclusions you receive with the three Official Ticket Packages, only available through the Derby Experiences program, that can get you in this new area.

Looking to do the Derby on a Budget? Ticket Package #1: Grandstand – Aqua 

Grandstand – Aqua is the most basic ticket package with prime seating in the new grandstand at an amazing value – starting at just $299. You’ll receive exclusive access to the Sunny’s Halo Lounge as well, where you’ll be able to enjoy a lunch buffet and complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks. Other Rooftop Party perks include a meet & greet with a celebrity jockey (Pat Day and Chris McCarron will be hosted over the weekend) along with appearances by Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Jackie Bob, Mia Greenhouse, Lauren Williams, and Mackenzie Weeks, and model and actress from Django Unchained, Nichole Galicia is also set to hit the party deck!

All Official Ticket Packages to the Derby also receive a VIP Fast Access Pass for a faster and more secure entrance to Churchill Downs, and you can opt in for luxurious accommodations in Louisville and transportation to and from the track each day. With a trip that’s completely planned, you’ll be able to sit back and really enjoy the Kentucky Derby! Choose to attend the Kentucky Oaks or Kentucky Derby or both days of amazing racing action.

Derby Experiences Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders

More Info on Grandstand - Aqua


Grandstand Blue Party and Grandstand Blue Taste of Derby™ Party Official Ticket Packages

describe the imageWith the Kentucky Derby comes some elite parties, and if you’re looking for the true Kentucky Derby experience, you’re going to want to attend!

Both packages include the same access and amenities as the budget friendly Aqua ticket packages, but these packages kick the Derby Party experience into high gear. With Grandstand Blue Party ticket packages, you’ll also be invited to the Fillies & Lilies Party, presented by Derby Experiences, on Friday night, the eve of the Derby.

The Fillies & Lilies Party is set to take place directly following the Kentucky Oaks in the Kentucky Derby Museum, a first for Derby fans where party access is on the grounds of Churchill Downs. The party includes an exclusive and intimate concert by five-time Grammy award winner Wynonna Judd, a premium open bar, bourbon lounge, complimentary heavy hors d’oeuvres and performances by mentalist and magician to the stars, Matthew Furman. Celebrities are already pouring in for this inaugural event so get ready to dance the night away with Wynonna & The Big Noise in style.

More Info on Grandstand Blue Party


Derby Experiences Kentucky Derby Parties Taste of Derby Food Tasting

With the Grandstand Blue Taste of Derby™ ticket packages, you’ll once again, have the same access as the Aqua ticket packages, but you’ll also receive a ticket to the 5th annual Taste of Derby™ Party on Thursday evening, primed to kick off the Derby weekend.

At the Taste of Derby™, you’ll be able to sample delectable cuisine prepared by Masterful Chefs from popular horse racing destinations across the country! While tasting the cuisine, you’ll be able to mingle with Hollywood and horse racing celebrities alike, and enjoy live entertainment. Another plus? Partial proceeds of the Taste of Derby™ go towards hunger relief organizations.


More Info on Grandstand Blue Taste of Derby™

The Ladies Guide on How to Dress for the Kentucky Derby


It’s that time of year again! April is here meaning the 2014 Kentucky Derby is just a few short weeks away! Now, I know what you’re thinking. What do I pack? What do I wear? To wear a hat or to not wear a hat? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered, ladies.

We’re going to help you plan the perfect Kentucky Derby outfit so when the first Saturday in May rolls around you’re ready! Read on to get an idea of how you should dress for the Derby this year, and don’t forget to bookmark the page so you can come back to it when you’re packing your bags in a few weeks!

The Gentleman's Guide on How to Dress at the Kentucky Derby>>>

It All Starts with the Hat!

First up on your Kentucky Derby fashion must have list is an epic hat! Horse racing draws in a unique and high fashion crowd, and since American horse racing draws from its British ties, there is a large amount of pageantry aligned with the sport. There is just as much interest regarding who attending the race and what they wore as there is about the actual race!

So what does this mean? It’s time to bring out your most elegant attire and polish it off with a hat!

Derby Experiences Kentucky Derby Fashion and Pagentry Womens Hats

Wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby will not only add a certain class to your outfit that will help you fit in around Churchill Downs, but it’s also a great way to show your creativity! All kinds of hats are seen at the Derby! Hats donned with ribbons, bows, flowers, tulle, frills and flowers alike can all be seen inside Churchill on Derby day. And remember, the bigger the better!

Not to mention, your hat will work dual purposes to protect you from the Kentucky sun while you’re outside at the track on race day.

Plan the Attire!

253197 582842058415701 1049257181 nWomen’s Kentucky Derby fashion continues to change with the ages and becomes more modern year after year. But with that said, there’s always a sense of class and elegance to the attire to keep with the tradition of the Kentucky Derby.

Whether you’re in the mood to wear a maxi dress, short dress, flowy skirt, pencil skirt, pants or a romper, they will all be seen at the Derby. However, there are two things to remember when picking your outfit:

  1. Pick something cool and comfortable – the Kentucky Derby is held in May so the weather is likely to be warm, and once you get to the track, changing isn’t an option. You’ll want to make sure you select an outfit that you’ll be comfortable wearing all day.
  2. Plan around your Kentucky Derby hat – don’t forget that your hat is your biggest feature at the Derby! Spring patterns are fun, but you’ll want to select an outfit that doesn’t contrast with your hat. When in doubt on whether or not your outfit goes with your hat, it’s safer to go with solid colors.
And don't forget if you're also attending the Kentucky Oaks, include the color pink in your outfit choices!

Don’t Forget to Accessorize!

972123 582837891749451 1909942563 nAccessories are a big part of dressing for the Kentucky Derby; after all, they complete your outfit! When choosing your accessories, it’s important to remember to compliment your outfit and don’t select anything to loud that it draws attention away from your main accessory, your hat.

A few necessities you’ll want to remember? A small purse to hold your personal items (you can go for a bigger purse, but remember you’ll have to hold it all day), sunglasses and jewelry! When selecting your jewelry, remember, it should make a statement, but not pull focus.

And last, but not least, footwear. When you’re seeking an outfit that screams class, it’s natural to want to pair it with your best pair of heels. But unless you’re used to walking in heels all day, we wouldn’t suggest this.

Churchill Downs is a large track and you’re guaranteed to be on your feet all day long, so search for shoes that go great with your outfit, but also offer comfort. Opt for a pair of flats or wedges that will be kinder to your feet than those stilettos. And if you are determined to wear those pumps, purchase some gel insoles to add cushion throughout the day. Trust me, your feet with thank you!

… And You’re Kentucky Derby Ready!

The important thing to remember when selecting your 2014 Kentucky Derby outfit is that you want to match comfort and fun with your own sense of style! If you have any questions about planning your perfect Kentucky Derby outfit or if you’re looking for more style tips, let us know in the comments below.

Get More Kentucky Derby Fashion Tips

2014 Kentucky Derby Entertainment Line-Up


Derby Experiences Kentucky Derby Grandstand vantage pointOne of the best things about big sporting events like the Kentucky Derby® is that entertainers flock to perform! After all, which star or starlet wouldn’t want to talk about performing at one of the biggest horse races of the year on the next talk show they appear on? Attending the Kentucky Derby might be on your bucket list, but for Hollywood, performing at the Derby is on theirs!

The Derby is a high class event – there is security and VIP signs surrounding the celebrities everywhere at the track! So how are you supposed to meet the stars and see the exclusive live performances? Well, you have to know the right people.

Hello, we’re Derby Experiences… your people. And we’re here to let you in on the biggest 2014 Kentucky Derby secret – the entertainment line-up! Take a look at when and where the best live shows will be taking place!

Elise Testone from American Idol® performing live in the Affirmed Lounge

The Affirmed Lounge is just one of several exclusive hospitality areas open through Derby Experiences. And yes, attend the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby with access to the Affirmed Lounge and you’ll be up front and center for a live performance by American Idol’s Elise Testone!

QuintEvents Derby Experiences Kentucky Derby 2014 Elise Testone Performing in Secretariat and Affirmed Lounge Ellise Testone In Car Slider

How do you get access? With Derby Experiences Official Ticket Packages you can get VIP access into the Affirmed Lounge in-track hospitality area! Located between the Kentucky Derby Museum’s Derby Café and Oaks Garden Tent at Gate 1, you’re in a prime location to enjoy all the pre-race festivities with optimal seating in the stands when the horses head to the track.

The Affirmed Lounge is climate controlled allowing you to relax out of the Kentucky elements, and you’ll find a complimentary gourmet lunch and unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks throughout the day! Not to mention, there are private wagering stations and celebrity jockeys who will be making appearances throughout the day!

With all the coveted amenities and VIP access you’ll receive with an Official Ticket Package to the Affirmed Lounge, seeing Elise Testone perform live is the icing on the cake!

Get Access to Elise Testone's Live Performance!

Wynonna Judd and The Big Noise performing at the Fillies & Lilies Party

describe the imageKentucky’s own five-time Grammy winner Wynonna Judd and her band The Big Noise will be performing live in the Kentucky Derby Museum after the 140th running of the Kentucky Oaks! Just let that soak in.

Now, pay close attention because there are two different ways that you can get access to Derby Experiences first annual Fillies & Lilies Party.

No. 1 – Get an Official Ticket Package that includes the invite to the Party

Similar to gaining access to Elise Testone’s performance, you can get access to see Wynonna hit the stage with an Official Party Package! This ticket package will grant you access to the Sunny’s Halo Lounge on both Oaks and Derby race days and will be your invitation in to the Fillies & Lilies Party.

The Sunny’s Halo Lounge is the brand new hospitality area that is paired with seating in the new grandstand. Here you’ll find an elevated view of the starting line and final stretch with great visibility of the happenings on the track. Not to mention, you’ll have an unparalleled view of the “big board,” the largest video board in the world! How’s that for not missing a second of the action on the track?

Inside the Sunny’s Halo Lounge you’ll also have the opportunity to meet celebrities and jockeys while enjoying a lunch buffet and complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks.

See Wynonna with the Fillies & Lilies Party Package!

No. 2 – Get an invitation to the Fillies & Lilies Party

Already have tickets to the race or live in the area and want to attend the party? Then you’re looking for an a la carte invite to the Fillies & Lilies Party, which Derby Experiences has on deck for you!

More Details on the Fillies & Lilies Party featuring Wynonna and The Big Noise

If you’re on the fence about attending with either of the options above, prepare to be swayed as you find out why the Fillies & Lilies Party is the place to be!

derby experiences fillies and lilies party wynonna judd

With an invitation to the first annual Fillies & Lilies Party brought to you by Derby Experiences, you’ll dance the night away while Wynonna rocks the house! The party is immediately following the Kentucky Oaks, hosted in the Kentucky Derby Museum, so it’s right on site. You’ll get to mingle with some of Hollywood’s finest in an intimate setting amidst the allure of the Derby exhibits.

Plus, prepare to enjoy and open bar, complimentary heavy hors ‘doeuvres and a bourbon lounge!

Seeking even more entertainment? Magician Matthew Furman will also be in attendance to blow your mind with his incredible illusions and magic tricks! The Fillies & Lilies Party is not a night you’ll soon forget!


Go to the Fillies & Lilies Party!


It’s Kentucky Derby Time!

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get your exclusive access to see these live performances! And if you need a tiny bit more coaxing, take a look at the celebrities you could meet at the Derby this year!


Meet A-List Celebrities at the Derby

2014 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Standings


Kentucky Derby 2014 First Turn Clubhouse Race Derby Experiences QuintEventsWe are in full bloom of the first leg of the 2014 Kentucky Derby Championship Series. With the Championship Series races providing the most points to the top four finishers, this is where we really begin to see the potential field for the 140th Kentucky Derby narrow.

For information on how the points system works and the full Road to the Kentucky Derby race schedule>>>

Be sure to check back each Monday leading up to the Kentucky Derby as we will have the updated standings for the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks!

2014 Kentucky Derby Standings, Updated 4/14/2014

Last Race: Wood Memorial at Aquaduct and Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park on April 5, 2014
Next Races: Blue Grass at Keeneland and Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 12, 2014

2014 kentucky derby standings derby experiences

2014 Kentucky Oaks Standings, Updated 3/31/2014

Last Race: Gulfstream Park Oaks at Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds Oaks at Fair Grounds, both on March 29, 2014
Next Races: Ashland at Keeneland, Santa Anita Oaks at Santa Anita Park, and Gazelle at Aqueduct all on April 5, 2014

kentucky oaks standings

Want to see who our racing expert has on her watch list as contenders? Take a look>>>

See the 2014 Contenders at the 140th Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby!

With exclusive hospitality access, celebrity appearances, VIP amenities and numerous other extras, Derby Experiences Official Ticket Packages are the best way to attend the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks!

Attending the Derby is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and given the chance, wouldn’t you want to make memories you’ll never forget?!

You choose a horse to pull for and we’ll take care of the rest! Get more information on how you can attend the 140th running of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby as a VIP!


Start My Kentucky Derby Experience!

The 2014 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby: What’s the Difference?


Kentucky Derby 2014 Pictures Yellow Clubhouse Section 111 Race View Derby Experiences QuintEventsThere are plenty of great things that come from Derby Experiences being Official Partners with Churchill Downs, but one of our favorite things is that we’re able to offer Official Ticket Packages that include tickets to both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks!

For those who follow thoroughbred racing closely, you probably already know what the Kentucky Oaks is, but for those of you that are recently joining this passionate horse racing community, you might not. Don’t fret! We’re about to help you distinguish the difference and teach you why you want to be at Churchill Downs for both races!

So what’s the difference?

It’s fairly simple actually. In the Kentucky Derby, any type of thoroughbred can race, whether colt, gelding or filly. However, only fillies can race in the Kentucky Oaks.

48062 575781139121793 1056027813 nThe field for the Kentucky Derby is primarily comprised of colts and geldings, but a filly can race in the 1 ¼ mile “Run for the Roses” if she qualifies on the point system just as her male counterparts. Just the same, since the Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown, a filly can also be nominated for this honor! Besides qualifying, the only requirement for the Kentucky Derby is that the thoroughbreds are all three-year-olds.

In contrast, the Kentucky Oaks is only for the fillies. Nicknamed “The Race for the Lilies,” the grandstands are filled with spectators covered in pink attire and the winner of the 1 1/8 mile race is presented with a garland of lilies. Like the Kentucky Derby, the fillies must be three-year-olds and must qualify for the Oaks through the points system.

The Oaks is held annually at Churchill Downs on the day preceding the Kentucky Derby, so when you’re heading to Churchill to see the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” it only makes sense to pack your pink and attend the Kentucky Oaks as well!


Take me to the Kentucky Oaks!


Wondering what this points system is for thoroughbreds to qualify for the 2014 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby? Take a look at how the points system works>>>

As for what’s left on the Road to the Derby and the Road to the Oaks, the Prep Season is gone and we’ve entered the Championship Series! Take a look at the races that are left on the schedule:

Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship Series

2014 kentucky derby championship series

Road to the Kentucky Oaks Championship Series

2014 kentucky oaks championship series

Take me to Churchill Downs!

Now that you know why these races are so important to horse racing fans, it’s time to plan your trip to Churchill Downs to watch the 2014 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby live! With Official Ticket Packages to attend the Kentucky Oaks only day, or both race days, exclusive in-track hospitality and VIP access and amenities, you can’t match this Kentucky Derby experience anywhere else!

Get more information on how you can a weekend to remember in Louisville for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby this year!


Start My Kentucky Derby Experience!

3 Ways to Meet Celebrities at the 2014 Kentucky Derby


After the Kentucky Derby, tabloid magazines and social media platforms are flooded with images of all the Hollywood stars that visited Churchill Downs. Headlines of celebrities walking the carpet and attending parties and functions are all we see. Through these images we get to see what it would be like to attend one of the biggest sporting events of the year as a VIP, while remaining unable to fathom celebrity status.

Well, this year, you’re going to meet celebrities at the 140th Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby! How? You’ll be at the right place at the right time with your own VIP status to grant you access!

So, take a look at these three ways to meet celebrities at the 2014 Kentucky Derby!

1. Spend Oaks and Derby Days in the Sunny’s Halo Lounge Rooftop Party Deck

Imagine this. You’re preparing to watch the 2014 Kentucky Derby with an elevated view of the starting line and final stretch from the brand new grandstand. You’ve just enjoyed the complimentary gourmet fare and premium open bar inside the Sunny’s Halo Lounge Rooftop Party Deck, all the while mingling with model and actress Nichole Galicia (starred in Django Unchained), Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Mackenzie Weeks, Jackie Bob, Lauren Williams and Mia Greenhouse, and our celebrity jockey!

Derby Experiences Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders

Sounds like a picture perfect Kentucky Derby Day, right? Well, with Derby Experiences Official Grandstand Blue Party Packages that’s exactly what your experience will be like!

Because Official Ticket Packages are direct from Churchill Downs, you’ll also receive all of the exclusive amenities that come from booking with an official partner, such as tickets to both Oaks and Derby race days, access to the Sunny’s Halo Lounge on both days, and optional accommodations and transportation!

Not to mention, with this ticket package, you’ll also receive an invitation to the first annual Fillies & Lilies Party! 

Meet Celebrities in Sunny\u0026#39\u003Bs Halo Lounge!  

2. Get Access to the Fillies & Lilies Party

Derby Experiences Fillies and Lilies Party Wynonna JuddLike previously mentioned, you can get access to Derby Experiences Fillies & Lilies Party with an Official Grandstand Blue Party Package, or if you already have ticket packages to the Oaks and Derby, you can get access a la carte!

So what celeb sightings are expected at the Fillies & Lilies Party? Well, let’s start with the featured entertainment. Wynonna Judd and The Big Noise will be performing LIVE! You don’t want to miss the chance to hear this five-time Grammy winner perform in her home state and the “Run for the Roses!”

Throughout the party, you’ll enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, a bourbon lounge and an open bar while you dance the night away! Magician Matthew Furman will also be in attendance to shock you with his mind illusions and tricks.

What other celebrities will be at the party? Nichole Galicia and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders! It’s not everyday that you can say you attended one of the biggest parties of the year with the stars! 

Go to the Fillies \u0026amp\u003B Lilies Party!  

3. Experience the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby in the Affirmed Lounge

QuintEvents Derby Experiences Kentucky Derby 2014 Elise Testone Performing in Secretariat and Affirmed Lounge Elise Testone BandThe Rooftop Party Lounge not your forte? Don’t worry, that’s not the only place there are guaranteed Hollywood stars at the Kentucky Derby!

You can attend with the Derby with Grandstand Orange Official Ticket Packages with access inside the Affirmed Lounge! Here, you’ll have the opportunity to meet a celebrity jockey and listen to American Idol® winner, Elise Testone, perform live!

Think about it! You’ll enjoy great views of the track from your seat in the stands, and you’ll prepare for the running of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby by enjoying complimentary beer and wine, an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch and live wagering tellers! All the while enjoying Testone’s performance! 

Attend the Derby in the Affirmed Lounge  

Orange Grandstand Taste of Derby Package

Derby Experiences Kentucky Derby Parties Taste of Derby ConfectionsWant Affirmed Lounge access and want to meet even more celebrities? You can select the Orange Grandstand Package to include the Taste of Derby party on Thursday! You’ll spend the evening tasting delectable dishes from popular horse racing destinations across the country created by Masterful Chefs!

Plus, the entire time you’ll be mingling with Hollywood stars and horse racing celebrities! Think it can’t get any better? Think twice!

Partial proceeds from the Taste of Derby go to benefit hunger relief organizations, so you’ll be benefiting a great cause! 

Go to the Taste of Derby!  

Make Me a VIP at the 2014 Kentucky Derby!

We thought you’d never ask! If you’re going to check the Kentucky Derby off your bucket list, it’s best to “go big or go home!” Plus, once you attend the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby with the celebrities, as a celebrity, you’ll never want to be an ordinary fan in the stands!

May 2 will be here before you know it, so visit our website or call 1-888-384-7088 to start your VIP Kentucky Derby experience today!

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