Still Talking Derby To Me

A reprint of one of my better blogs…If I may say so, myself. 🙂

All things Kentucky Derby.  I have never been, but Mer and I have made a pact to go in the next few years.  Sonny Bunny is going this year.  Without his Mom and Sister.  So next year, for Patrick’s graduation, me thinks I’ll be celebrating at the Derby!  I know a couple of other horse owners who may want to join us!  Make that next year!

Derby Facts



Derby 101

Planning your own Derby soire

You don’t have to make the trip to Churchill Downs or even Louisville to experience the Kentucky Derby. Plan your own Derby party with these suggestions for food, cocktails, decorations, and games.

There are a few essentials you must serve at your Derby party. Not only are these recipes traditional fare for the Derby, but they are delicious too!

  • KentuckyHot Browns
  • Bourbon-Marinated Pork Tenderloin
  • Country Ham and Biscuits
  • Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie
  • Bourbon Balls

The mint julep is the iconic drink of the Kentucky Derby. Serve it in a silver julep cup for a traditional presentation. Here are some other race-day cocktails you should try.

  • Classic Mint Julep
  • Black-eyed Susan Cocktail
  • Long Island Iced Tea
  • Bourbon Smash
  • Whiskey Sours
  • Bourbon Cider Sour 


Take your cue from the Kentucky Derby’s nickname, the Run for the Roses, and decorate with the classic flower. Rose and boxwood topiaries make great centerpieces or small tabletop decorations. You can either buy topiary forms and simply place them in a suitable container, or you can make one yourself with plastic foam balls and wooden dowels. Once you have bought or made the form, simply stick pieces of boxwood into the plastic foam. You can either make a tight arrangement by cutting the boxwood pieces the same length and placing them close together, or you can vary the length of the boxwood pieces for a looser and more natural arrangement. Then add red roses into the plastic foam for a pop of color and a Derby accent.


Fill traditional silver julep cups with red roses for a small-scale arrangement.

Use brightly colored tablecloths and napkins as a nod to the jockeys’ colorful uniforms, called silks.

The official Kentucky Derby Web site allows party planners to create and send evites.

You can also do it the old-fashioned way and send invitations by mail. Find a variety of Derby-inspired choices at Polka Dot Design. Our favorites: the Derby Clothing invitation and the Horse Race invitation, both by Odd Balls.

Order official Kentucky Derby Programs so your guests really feel like they’re at the races.

The actual race only takes two minutes, so plan a few Derby-inspired games to extend your party and keep your guests entertained before and after the race.

  • Hat Contest
    Ask your guests to wear hats to your party and encourage creativity by offering a prize for best hat. Award the winner with a homemade Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie or a bottle of bourbon so they can take home a little taste of the Kentucky Derby.
  • Game of Luck
    Let each guest draw a horse’s name out of a hat to cheer for during the race. The guest paired with the winning horse wins a prize. Up the ante by making the prize a Jockey Silks Scarf for women or the Off to the Races Bow Tie for men from Vineyard Vines, The Official Style of the Kentucky Derby.
  • For the Kids
    Set up a game of horseshoes in the yard, or have the kids bring their own stick horses for their very own Run for the Roses.

Kentucky Derby 2018 fashion

If you are one among those who have no idea what to wear, don’t worry as there are no hard and fast rules about an outfit to the Kentucky Derby. But lucky for you, here are some quick fashion tips and ideas that can help you makes heads turn at the event. What you wear also depends on where exactly you are seated on the Kentucky Derby day, but following the below tips, you will be happy with your outfit for the day.

Connie and Dave…the Derby’s favorite couple

The famous Kentucky Derby hat

One of the most important style statements on the day is the famous hat. After all, the hat is what makes the event stand apart from many other sports. It is not just an addition to your dress, wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is a sign of good luck. Any many believe, the bigger and bolder your hat is, the more luck you receive.

And recently hats have been a statement symbol for not just women at the event. Many men have also started sharing the tradition along with women. Depending on where you sit on the ground, you will find hats of all varieties. For example, at the famous Churchill Downs section, you would find hats exhibiting style and elegance.

If you have heard about that famous ‘picture hat’, you definitely know the Kentucky Derby fashion. The picture hat also called the Kentucky Derby hat is big and bold so you don’t shy away from clicking pictures and making your trip to the sport one to remember for many years to come.

Our fashion tip for the hat is to select one that has a wide brim. You can buy one that is decorated with feathers, ribbons, bows or even flowers. To add your individual charm and character to the hat, you can also customise one at home with the same things making it closely resemble the dress that you choose for the event.

If you want your hat to scream American from the roof tops, choose a one that has a fixed brim and a really simple ribbon tied as a bow on the side. Some people show their humorous side by giving a funny twist to their hats to bring more fun to the event.

In the end, there are no rules to the hat for the Kentucky Derby, so select something that showcases you and goes well with the rest of your fashion outfit for the day. Remember to keep it simple so you are not going crazy selecting a dress that goes well with it.


Your dress for the day

Just like the hat, a dress is also a given when we talk about the Kentucky Derby fashion. You can find dresses with ample variety – from formal day suits to strapless sundresses. The Kentucky Derby day can be warm and you will probably be out all day long. So, whatever type of dress you choose, make sure that it is comfortable and the one that you can carry all day long.

If you are going a bit loud on your hat and selecting one that has big, bold patterns, go for a solid single-colored dress, so your dress and the hat are not conflicting each other but rather complementing.

Looking at popular trends, you can never be wrong if you are choosing a floral dress for the event. The Kentucky Derby is all about flaunting those feminine frocks that you find hanging in stores and leave you wondering where to wear them. Now is the time to buy a floral number in a subtle color like lavender, baby pink, yellow or powder blue. So, if you end up buying a dress with big bold flowery pattern, go for a single bold colored hat to match with it. Or vice versa.

The right shoes

Whether heels, pumps or flats, don’t try a style that you’ve never worn before. In the spirit of the day, many women wear something that they are not comfortable with forgetting that they may have to wear it for a whole day. Your best bet is to sport a sexy pair of heels with your pretty dress, but always keep a pair of flats in your bag to quietly slip into when your feet start to hurt under pressure. For a quick tip, select a color that matches your hat or your handbag. If you want to play safe, a black or a red pair of heels always looks fabulous.

Your open-toed sandals will be an instant hit at the event but don’t lose your mind shopping for one. At the end of the day, it will be comfort that will matter the most, so select something that is easy to wear, lets your feet breathe and feels comfortable for you to carry whole day long.

Comfort always prevails when you are on your feet all day!

Suitable jewelry

Jewelry is not the showstopper at the Kentucky Derby – it is the famous hat. But a small, sleek piece of jewellery around the neck will not harm but only accentuate your dress and make you look complete. Let your hat do all the talk at the sport and simply add an understated strand around the neck or simple bangles for the icing on the cake.

Legacy Letters
Golden Fan Earrings

Your handbag

The Kentucky Derby is not a place to flaunt those big shoulder bags, but to keep them somewhere with that extra pair of flats that you may need later during the day. To mingle and place your bets, choose an evening clutch that goes well with your dress and hat and is easy to carry too. Something that has a light chain strap is better, so you can hang it on your shoulder to keep your hands free when needed.

Gold Insider
Shift and Switch

Those sunglasses

The Kentucky Derby is not an event to flaunt that expensive branded pair of sunglasses you wear everywhere. Leave the serious look home and reach for something that is more sporty and feminine for the event. Opt for different shades such as white, rose gold or blush pink that can go well with your dress and that beautiful hat you’ve chosen for the Kentucky Derby.

India Hicks Sunglasses

And we have not forgotten you, Gents

We know the Kentucky Derby is as exciting an event for you as it is for your beautiful other half, so here is your golden rule of thumb for the best Kentucky Derby wear.

When shopping for men suit for the event, take something which makes you look sophisticated, suave, dapper and classy. Whatever you select – stripes, checked patterns, bright colors or pinpoints, ensure they match your personality and top your suit up with a well-polished pair of black or blue leather shoes. For that oomph, add a contrasting pocket scarf to your suit with a matching bow tie.

Read More:  Kentucky Derby Live Stream Guide


In the end, whatever fashion style statement you want to make at the Kentucky Derby, the key is to keep comfort your number one priority. Everything will fall apart if you’re not comfortable in what you are wearing or carrying at the event because it needs to last for good 12-16 hours, even longer if you intend to party after your long day at the tracks.

Remember, only when you are comfortable in what you are wearing will you be able to enjoy the Kentucky Derby and make the most of the day.

Derby Lingo

Wagering Party Games

What’s a party without games?  And what’s a Derby party without wagering games? No need to worry about what games to play at your Derby party, the Derby Way has you covered.

With our games you don’t need to know a thing about betting. Nor do you have to be a one percenter because you can always play with pennies or m&m’s instead of dollars. That might come in handy because you can play our games for all 14 races on Derby Day – not just the Derby.

First of all, go to to get the names of the horses running in the Derby and in the 11 undercard races that take place before the Derby.

The Derby Hat Draw

  • Ask each guest to contribute a sum of money (or m&ms or anything else you like) to a pool – or just spring for the      pool yourself.
  • Put the names of all the Derby horses for a particular race in a hat.
  • Allow your guests to draw the name of a horse out of the hat.
  • Whoever has the name of the horse who wins the race wins the pool.

 Horse Auction Action

  • Hold a Thoroughbred auction and auction off each horse in the race
  • The favorite will go for a higher price than the longshot
  • Add the auction sums to a pool
  • Whoever purchased the winning horse at auction wins the pool

Lucky Longshots

  • Bet which horse will finish last, instead of first
  • Apply the “last place wins” rule to the above games

Vegas at the Derby

Wager on whether the following Derby Day traditions will go over or under the time allotted below.

  • 2:15 How long it will take Lady Antebellum to sing the national anthem
  •  :90 How long it will take the crowd to sing My Old Kentucky Home
  • 2:00 The time length of the race

Need more info on Derby Parties or where to watch the undercard races? Visit for all the information to plan your party.

If you can read the tiny print…you can save this and print this out.

Just a big of Recaping


Today is opening day at Arlington Race Track.  I will not be attending with my Partner in Crime, as she will be on a Girl’s Trip, but I will make the very best of it!

Happy Cinco De Mayo!



Source:  Southern Living



One comment

  1. Terry,

    This blog is one of my favorites as well. We simply must go to the Derby together next year with a group or just us two. I have been there 13 times, but haven’t been there in more than 10 now. However, we cannot wait to get together until then. Let’s set a date ASAP!!


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