Tips for Attending the 2018 Kentucky Derby

The wait is almost up. In less than a month, the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place. If you have never attended this iconic event, let this be the year. Although it can be exciting to witness the “most exciting two minutes in sports” in any capacity—on TV or in person—attending in person is a truly unforgettable experience.

To ensure that your trip to Churchill Downs is spectacular, we at Superior Executive Services would like to share with you some tips. Whether you are attending the event with some friends, co-workers, or some key clients, the 2018 Kentucky Derby is sure to live up to the hype.

Below are some tips to help you make the most of your trip to the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

Learn How to Say “Louisville”

If you have never visited the city of Louisville, you may be unsure how to pronounce the city’s name. Don’t worry, this is a common problem among visitors. Even the city pokes fun at this, and at the visitor center you can even see a sign mocking all the pronunciations—”Looeville,” “Lewisville,” “Looavull,” “Looaville,” and “Luhvull.” However, if you want to appear as though you are not from that far out of town, opt for the most popular pronunciation: Loo-a-vull. We know—it feels weird, doesn’t seem right, etc. But it’s their city and their name, and trying to pronounce it correctly will signal respect and help you win-over some locals.  

Learn to Read Racing Forms

If you have never seen a racing form, chances are that you will be quite confused when given one. If you plan on placing some bets at the Derby—and if you are going for the total Kentucky Derby experience, you absolutely should—you may want to brush up on making sense of these forms. If you know where to look, they will tell you everything you need to know about past performances. Additionally, it is loaded with horse racing lingo, so it is best to familiarize yourself with all of the lingo and abbreviations—e.g. BF (beaten favorite), CD (horse has won over course and distance), D (has won that distance), etc. Being able to make sense of these forms gives you a much better chance of predicting a horse’s future performance, and, therefore, cam improve your chance of picking a winner.

On this note, you may also want to learn about trifectas, exactas, superfectas, win place, boxes, show, wheels, and all other terms that you are going to see at the betting window.

Choose Advice Wisely

Invariably, you will see some know-it-all “track-rats” who are more than willing to offer some betting advice. Just because the guy has the visor, Versace glasses, and the rest of the ensemble, it doesn’t mean he knows what he is talking about. Sure, he’s probably spent way more time at the track than you, but he has also spent a lot more time losing. Don’t put too much faith in advice—after all, you are both looking at the same race form.

Bring Cash—But Maybe Not too Much

Cash is king at the Kentucky Derby. Parking, drinking, food, betting—all require cash. While the Churchill Downs facility does have ATMs, the lines are typically long, and not how you want to spend your time at the Derby.

While you should probably bring more than you need, if you are going with the goal of doing some serious betting, you may want to limit how much you bring. In fact, some may say, don’t bring more than you are willing to lose. Horse racing can be addictive, and after sampling some local bourbon and gulping down some iconic mint juleps, you may get a little zealous with your bets.

Decide How You Want to Experience the Derby

Do you want to party in a potentially muddy infield with a rowdy crowd who may have had one too many mint juleps, or sit in the stands of Churchill Downs, where you will likely see celebrities and some big tickets being cashed? Both can be tremendous fun, and it’s up to you to decide which adventure you want. This is one of the great things about the Kentucky Derby atmosphere. If you are looking for a Kentucky Derby Package with some luxurious seating, check out Superior Executive Services packages. We have everything from luxurious 1st Level Clubhouse Packages to Millionaires Row Packages, where you can get the ultimate VIP experience.

Explore Louisville

Louisville is a city full of good food, drink, sports, history, and entertainment. This statement is true at all times during the year, but this is especially true during the Derby. For the people of Louisville, the Kentucky Derby is like Christmas, July 4th, and all other holidays wrapped in one. This will quickly become apparent as you move around the city during the Derby. It is a special and exciting time to be in Louisville. There a number of events to look forward to, including the boat race, free concerts, and the largest firework show in the U.S.

With more than 158,000 people attending the 2017 Kentucky Derby, the event is the largest and most attended horse race in the country and 2018 is sure to follow this trend. While the label “the most exciting two minutes in sports” may lead you to believe the excitement is short-lived, this is certainly not the case. The Derby is actually a two-day event with events and races that can be as equally as fun as the main race.

Fun fact: among all the traditional excitement of the race, this year there will be a horse named Gronkowski. As you might have guessed, the horse is named after the New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski—the horse stands at roughly the same height.

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