The 142nd Kentucky Derby in Louisville at Churchill Downs
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The 142nd Kentucky Derby with 14 Hands Wine

The 142nd Kentucky Derby @14HandsWine #14HandsDerbyThe 142nd Kentucky Derby

And now, for the big event, the 142nd Kentucky Derby – otherwise known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” or “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses that is draped over the winner. Nearly 170,000 people attended this year’s Kentucky Derby. Derby day is always the first Saturday in May and this year’s event took place on Saturday, May 7th with a $2 million guaranteed purse.

The 142nd Kentucky Derby @14HandsWine #14HandsDerbyStyle & the Derby

It was a great day of people watching with all of the unique styles of hats, fascinators, dresses and suits. Even a few of the men got whole-heartedly into the spirit and sported outrageous hats. I took my chances and walked the infamous infield, where the real action is. The best way to describe the infield is that the infield is to Derby as Bourbon Street is to Mardi Gras. Get the picture? The cost of entry is $50 and about 70,000 attendees come to party and actually never see the actual races taking place all day long.

The 142nd Kentucky Derby @14HandsWine #14HandsDerbyEntertainment

The weather was fantastic up until the national anthem, sung by the country trio Lady Antebellum, as that was when the heavens opened with a torrential downpour soaking most of the people in the infield and anyone who couldn’t find cover. Luckily, at that time, we were in the museum shop looking for souvenirs so we missed the rain entirely. However, we were hoping Lady Antebellum would come back out and give the National Anthem another go, but sadly that did not happen as the race must go on.

The 142nd Kentucky Derby @14HandsWine #14HandsDerbySponsors & Suites

Each year, additional suites are built and attached to the existing structure to accommodate the large audience and sponsors of the Derby. Our suite, sponsored by 14 Hands Wine, was so close to the race track (front row – just behind the hedges), that each time a race was taking place and the competing horses sped by, our suite would literally shake from the thunderous vibration of the horse’s weight pounding on the track — which made it even more exciting.

Although the suite I was in was wonderful, I will admit that at least once or twice I looked longingly across the way at Millionaires’ Row and the Skye Terrace Dining Rooms. One could only imagine which Royals, celebrities, and athletes were in attendance and if they were winning their bets. Millionaires Rowe and Sky Terrace are exclusive, interior dining rooms located on the 4th, 5th, and 6th levels of the Clubhouse.

The 142nd Kentucky Derby @14HandsWine #14HandsDerbyInterested in attending the Kentucky Derby next year?

Overall pricing for Kentucky Derby tickets and suites is as follows:

  • General Admission (Oaks Day): $40
  • General Admission (Derby Day): $60
  • First Floor Grandstand Section 126 (2-Day Oaks & Derby Day): $300
  • Third Floor Clubhouse Section 318 (2-Day Oaks & Derby Day): $850
  • Millionaires Row or Turf Club (2-Day Oaks & Derby Day): $1,750
  • (New) Stakes Room (2-Day Oaks & Derby Day): $2,750
  • Mansion (2-Day Oaks & Derby Day): $12,500
  • Finish Line Suites (2-Day Oaks & Derby Day for 40 guests): $250,000
The 142nd Kentucky Derby @14HandsWine #14HandsDerby

Josh Duhamel LOVED my hat!

One of my favorite experiences from the Derby was getting a picture with actor Josh Duhamel, who just happened to be in the Mumm Champagne suite next door. The G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge is the Official Champagne of Kentucky Derby. What a nice guy to meet and greet his fans with kindness and patience. I had to ask him to take the selfie as I was too excited to take it myself!
Of course, no Derby would be complete without tasting a Mint Julep – in fact, it may be a requirement! Mint Juleps were served in abundance so to save time, the Derby bartenders opted for a Mint Julep mixer vs. hand crushing the mint with sugar and water. They were still pretty tasty!

Derby Pic 4

Yes, the Derby is all about fashion, food, fantastic wines and bourbon – – but let’s not forget the actual horse races. There were several races throughout the day, but everyone was anticipating the championship race. The official Kentucky winners were (#13) Nyquist 1st place, (#11) Exaggerator 2nd place, and (#5) Gun runner 3rd place. To quote the great Irvin S. Cobb, a great author and born Kentuckian, “Until you’ve been to Kentucky and with your own eyes behold the Kentucky Derby, you ain’t never been nowhere and you ain’t never seen nothing.” I can now cross the Derby off my bucket list, but can only hope to return again.

Pink Out! at Kentucky Oaks - Oaks Lily Drink Recipe @14HandsWine #14HandsDerbyGet social with 14 Hands Winery

To learn more about 14 Hands you can visit them on Facebook | Twitter | Youtube so you never miss the latest updates.

Pink Out! at Kentucky Oaks - Oaks Lily Drink Recipe @14HandsWine #14HandsDerby14 Hands Winery graciously hosted us as their guest at the 2016 Kentucky Derby. This once in a lifetime experience was absolutely amazing! We are so thankful.

Autumn Murray - Lead Travel Writer for Divine Lifestyle and Founder of Simply Amazing Living

Autumn Murray

Autumn Murray is the Lead Travel Writer for Divine Lifestyle and the Founder of Simply Amazing Living Online Lifestyle Magazine.
Click here for more of her articles:  Simply Amazing Living

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39 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Robin Masshole Mommy

    I can’t believe the Kentucky Derby has been around for that long. I would love to go someday!

  2. Mary

    I had no idea the derby was around this long. I would love to go just to people watch honestly

  3. I would love to go the Kentucky Derby someday! I’ve always been a huge fan of outrageous hats so it seems right up my alley! 🙂 Last year I flew out of the Louisville Airport on Derby weekend and saw tons of amazing fascinators!

  4. Pam

    Too bad Lady Antebellum didn’t come back out. Sounds like you had a good time anyway though!

  5. DonnaLee

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. Love your hat and dress! You didn’t say if you picked the winner. 😉

  6. N.Vanguard

    Wow!! Seems like loads of fun! Maybe time to start thinking of a stylish hat and taking a stroll through the Infield!

  7. Tonya Freeman

    Awesome post Autumn! I LOVE your hat! Looks and sounds like the Derby is the place to be! Thanks for the insight and excitement!

  8. Shanta

    Awesome article. After reading this I think the Kentucky Derby has now been added to my bucket list! Thanks for sharing and looking forward to reading more.

  9. What a great experience.The suites sound really nice. It’s so cool that you ran into Josh Duhamel.

  10. Mona

    Great article and awesome photos! Makes me want to go, too.

  11. What a fun event to attend! I’d love to go to the Kentucky Derby and dress up one of these days. What an experience!

  12. Marzie

    Looks like it was fabulous. What a great dress and hat for the event.

  13. Ryan Escat

    This is a very nice experience, you two look like having so much fun at Kentucky derby.

  14. Ah, I love the hats and I believe it was featured before. And yes, I’m a casual fan of horses as well, general admission might be enough for me if I attend the events. Good pics!

  15. This looks like such a fun time, I love that hat! so stylish, never been to a derby before but looks like it would be a fabulous time!

  16. Now that’s what I call a day out. Getting to attend the Kentucky Derby is a real fun time I am sure. I am a little jealous right now.

  17. I’ll buy a ticket for next year ASAP – if you can guarantee me a seat next to Josh Duhamel. He’s one of my favs!

  18. It really sounds like such an experience to go to the Kentucky Derby! The excitement, the hats, and Josh Duhamel? What’s not to love here?

  19. I would love to go to the derby one day. Just to wear the hat, right?! look like you had a great time

  20. Josh Duhamel !! That is awesome.
    I have a friend who goes to the Kentucky Derby every year and has for quite a few years now.

  21. aziel morte

    You had an awesome experience and you had a great time there enjoy.

  22. Amy Desrosiers

    My husband’s Uncle Buzz use to be a horse purchaser for the Kentuxky Derby. He got to attend tons of derbys but sadly passed away a few years ago.

  23. What a fun event!! I love the big hats and would love a chance to go.

  24. That hat is super impressive!!! I love it I have always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby and go all out with a pretty big hat.

  25. Crystal

    That hat is awesome! My sister won a prize for her Derby hat this year, but she’s going to need to go bigger next year!

  26. I have always wanted to see the Kentucky Derby in person. I bet it is really exciting!

  27. Sarah Bailey

    Your hat is so cute! I have never experienced a derby but I would love to one day.

  28. Gorgeous hat! Wow! You really pull it off. I wish I could see one of these in person. Looks like a blast!

  29. Nicole Escat

    The first time I saw your hat in another post, I love it! This time, I love it more!

  30. Rosie

    I love the dress and the hat! I’d love to go to the Kentucky Derby just to show off a great hat like that. An appropriate name for a wine for the KD, like to try it! Sure looks like a fun time!

  31. I have always wanted to attend a Kentucky Derby, but now that we’re retired it’s probably out of our price range. It just seems so awesome … the energy, the hats … the mint juleps! I guess I’ll just have to continue with my May 1st Derby Parties!

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