The 2014 Kentucky Derby Experience: LIVE from Churchill Downs!

Posted by Jaclyn Harris on Mon, May 5, 2014 @ 17:05 PM

The 2014 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks were events to be remembered! Guests watched LIVE from Churchill as the Kentucky Oaks favorite, Untapable, and the Kentucky Derby favorite, California Chrome, raced to victory at top speeds against challenging competitors.

See the full 2014 Kentucky Derby race recap>>

However, these weren’t the only races throughout the Derby weekend. Churchill Downs hosted 12 races on Oaks day with the 11th race being the Kentucky Oaks, and 13 races on Derby day, with the 11th race being the Kentucky Derby.

It was two full days of racing at the Downs and Derby Experiences’ guests were able to experience the entire two-day event from the best seats in the Grandstand and Clubhouse, with some guests right on the fence!

Not to mention, Derby Experiences boasts six deluxe hospitality areas where guests can unwind out of the crowded stands and enjoy open or cash bars, complimentary food buffets, celebrity meet and greets and much more!

And with Official Ticket Packages, guests’ accommodations in Louisville and transportation to and from Churchill Downs were included, so they were truly able to relax and enjoy the Kentucky Derby because everything was included.

Check out the 2014 Derby Experience through the eyes of our guests!

The Hospitality

Inside Sunny’s Halo Lounge

Located to the left of Gate 1, Churchill Downs' main entrance, lives Sunny’s Halo Lounge hospitality venue. It’s tucked away on the second floor past the brand new wagering stations and parallel to the newly build cafeteria. With high security keeping the space exclusive to Derby Experiences’ VIPs, guests were able to lounge at this rooftop party deck with impeccable views of the starting gate, final turn, and finish line.

Guests were able to help themselves to an open bar filled with beer, wine and soft drinks, and a complimentary lunch buffet. And celebrities such as Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Olivia Rene, Jackie Bob, Lauren Williams and Mia Greenhouse, and Kentucky Derby Champions, Pat Day and Chris McCarron floated around throughout the race weekend to meet and greet with fans!

Not to mention, the flow of Sunny’s Halo Lounge was incredibly accommodating with the stadium-style seating located right below the drink bar that lined the track. Sunny’s Halo Lounge was an incredible way to experience the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby!

Inside Affirmed Lounge

Located inside the Kentucky Derby Museum at Gate 1, the Affirmed Lounge hospitality area offered guests a climate-controlled escape from the Grandstand and the chilly weather on Oaks day and the heat on Derby day.

Guests were able to enjoy live performances by American Idol’s Elise Testone and Louisville’s local band Blaise Street. Not to mention, because the Affirmed Lounge was inside the Kentucky Derby Museum, guests were able to view all of the exhibits throughout the day, allowing the magnitude of the Kentucky Derby to really sink in.

Plus, since 2009 Kentucky Derby Champion Mine That Bird was being paddocked in the Kentucky Derby Museum, guests were given the fantastic opportunity to see the racing legend up close. Not to mention, Kentucky Derby Champions Pat Day and Chris McCarron made appearances, along with celebrity Magician Matthew Furman!

Inside Secretariat Lounge

Located inside the Clubhouse above Gate 17, the Secretariat Lounge is the largest hospitality area. Climate-controlled and filled with delicious food, open bars and comfortable seating, guests were able to get away from the crowded stands and hallways of the Clubhouse and relax with their groups.

Actress from Django Unchained, Nichole Galicia, could be found hanging out in Secretariat Lounge and Elise Testone and Blaise Street performed live on their respective days. Additionally, Pat Day and Chris McCarron made appearances to meet fans.

Since the track wasn’t in direct view, guests had access to simulcast TV coverage of the races and private wagering stations.

Inside Citation Hospitality Lounge

Citation Lounge could be found outside Gate 10 (where our transportation dropped off and picked up guests) and was accessible from inside Churchill or the parking lot, so guests were given the option of entering the track through the main entrance or hospitality.

Inside this climate-controlled venue, guests were able to enjoy complimentary gourmet fare, a cash bar and private wagering stations. Kentucky Derby Champion Pat Day also made an appearance to meet fans!

Citation Lounge also boasts seats in some of the best sections of the Clubhouse such as Section 111. It’s a prime spot to see the horses round the first bend, coming at you in full force! You can hear their steady breathing, see the dirt flying up from under their hooves and hear the jockeys giving their calls. There really is no closer seating!

Inside Street Sense Hospitality

Street Sense offered great accommodations for large group with long table seating. With delicious cuisine, cash bars and self-service wagering stations, guests were free to come as they please and avoid the long lines in the cafeteria.

Street Sense is a great escape from the Clubhouse, located right behind Section 121, and guests were even able to meet Kentucky Derby legends Pat Day and Chris McCarron!

Inside Smarty Jones Lounge

Adjacent to the Kentucky Derby Museum and Affirmed Lounge just inside Gate 1, Smarty Jones offers a prime location for guests to escape the Grandstand. You’re right next to a large wagering station and souvenir stands, and Smarty Jones boasts its own one-time lunch buffet, cash bar and wagering stations.

Guests were also able to meet Magician Matthew Furman and Kentucky Derby Legends Pat Day and Chris McCarron!

See More Pictures from the 2014 Kentucky Derby Weekend>>

The Parties

In addition, guests were able to opt in for VIP access at some of the Kentucky Derby’s most exclusive parties such as the Taste of Derby™ and the first annual Fillies & Lilies Party presented by Derby Experiences!

Check out these Kentucky Derby parties through Derby Experiences’ guests eyes!

Inside the Taste of Derby™ Party

Held on the eve of the Kentucky Oaks, guests were able to taste delectable dishes made by national reknown chefs! With so many Kentucky native dishes being created with new twists, and popular dishes from all over the nation being served, everyone’s pallets were offered new and delicious tastes!

Celebrities walked the carpet, cooking competitions were held and guests were supplied plenty of commemorative souvenirs to remember the event. Not to mention, partial proceeds went to benefit hunger relief organizations!

Inside the Fillies & Lilies Party

Held on the eve of the Kentucky Derby, the Fillies & Lilies Party was everything it was made out to be! Guests were able to mingle with celebrities such as the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Matthew Furman and Nichole Galicia, and Wynonna Judd put on an incredible performance!

Because the attendance number was limited, the performance was intimate making it much more meaningful to guests. Derby Experiences’ guests were also invited to enjoy complimentary heavy hors d’oeavres, open wine, beer and soft drinks, and bourbon tastings in the bourbon lounge.

Not to mention, the Fillies & Lilies Party was held in the Kentucky Derby Museum and it was so surreal to be dancing and enjoying the evening amidst the exhibits that honor America’s greatest past time.

This is one Kentucky Derby Party you want to have on your bucket list for next year!

Secure My Place in 2015!

If you haven’t gotten there on your own yet, the 2015 Kentucky Derby will be THE event to be at! Derby Experiences already has 2015 Official Kentucky Derby Ticket Packages and party packages on sale with similar line-ups to this year!

Don’t miss your chance to have the hair on your arms stand up as the horses thunder pass you on the track competing in the first leg of the Triple Crown series! There is nothing like the Kentucky Derby! Call 1-888-384-7088 to speak to a representative or visit Derby Experiences website for more information.

Booking early is key as it will provide more availability and options to you. It’s time to start your Kentucky Derby experience; let Derby Experiences take you there!


Take Me to the 2015 Kentucky Derby

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Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 


Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.


Evan Chronis

Evan Chronis was born in Omaha, Nebraska but has made his home in south Charlotte for almost two decades. A Tar Heel born and bred, Evan received his B.A in Media and Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is an avid Boston sports fan thanks to his family’s New England roots, and a fanboy of Wes Anderson films.