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Kentucky Derby Planning

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Sep 7th, 2007, 04:53 PM
  #1
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Kentucky Derby Planning

Hello Fodorites,

Im planning on going to the derby next year and I had a couple questions.

1) WHat time should I arrive to the tracks Saturday Morning?

2) Are there any events Friday or Saturday Night?

3) How crazy is parking at the track?

THanks in advance.
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Sep 7th, 2007, 05:42 PM
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Well- first you have to manage to get tickets (unless you do infield - which I don;t reco - like an out of control college kegger). Then you have to find a hotel (many people reserve a year in advance).

There are a variety of events during that entire week - check the track web site for details.

Unbelievably crazy (many people relatively nearby rent out their driveways or lawns for parking).
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Sep 7th, 2007, 08:16 PM
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Do a search here. There are a couple of threads from this year and last on planning for the Derby with good advice.

Friday is Kentucky Oaks day (the race for fillies). It's about half as big as the Derby and is mostly locals.

Basically, everything else in Louisville will be totally crazy the whole week before the Derby. If you haven't yet reserved your hotel, you'll probably end up staying in Lexington or Cincinnatti...
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Sep 8th, 2007, 08:22 AM
  #4
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THanx for the feedback thus far. I have my hotel reserved and Im on a list for tickets. Right now im debating coming in Friday or 9am Saturday morning. Is 9am on Saturday too late?

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Sep 8th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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If you can get here the night before, you'll have a great time. There are all sorts of parties throughout the week, concerts by the river, events at 4th Street Live, etc. You actually will do better by parking at the Fairgrounds or the Stadium and taking a shuttle bus to the track. You can park in yards, but getting in and out around there is a zoo. Most of my friends who go (I live in Louisville) arrive at the track around 11. It's a long day and the Derby doesn't even run until after 5, closer to 6 now I think. Goinfg to the Oaks the day before is a blast, too. For list of Derby Festival events, visit the home page of the festival www.kdf.org
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Sep 8th, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Hi, first of all, how many are in your Derby group?

Secondly, even if you planned such a thing at the last minute, you would stay somewhere near 50-100 miles away (while still paying a premium hotel/motel rate) and then drive into Louisville, park at the FAIRGROUNDS there, and then take a shuttle bus to the track. Plenty of parking available.

Races might start @ 11:00am or so, and it makes sense to time your arrival to the track for the 10:00am range (maybe to the fairgrounds @ 9:30 with that in mind).

Plenty of people-watching and a large crowd already on hand.

If you are there by yourself, you could get by with just the general admission, which lets you roam the infield or the area BENEATH the grandstand, which may afford some view of the saddling paddock.

You'd be roaming around all day without a seat, but there are places to sit and rest when needed.

Last I heard, general admission cost $45 or so.

You can make the trip any sort of an experience you want, for any price range you want. If on a budget, you can consider some of what I just explained.

enjoy!

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Sep 8th, 2007, 05:49 PM
  #7
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Thanx again for the replies

Currently it is just me going there is the VERY slim chance I would have another party join but again that is very slim

I have a hotel reserved in Jeffersonville Indiana about 10 or so miles away from the track.

Im torn if I should purchase a ticket now or wait. I can get a one way ticket from Phx for about 60 bucks right now but it would get to Louisville on Race day at 9am.



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Sep 9th, 2007, 02:13 AM
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Getting to Louisville at 9AM on race day is good. You'll be right on time. I went last year and got there Saturday morning about that time after a redeye from LAX and connection in Chicago.

Pick up your rental car at the airport only because you will need a place to store your carry-on. Drive ONE MILE, it is that close, from the airport to the Fairgrounds as others have said. Park there and take the shuttle to CD. It is less than two miles. This is very easy to do.

If you are a race fan and you are intested in seeing the races (there are a couple of other G1s on the card) and you are going solo, then this is the time to pop $400 for a seat at mid-stretch. It is, at least, if you are tall or you get row 1 - everybody stands on top of the bench (like bleach seats) and it is difficult to see the track if you are not 6 ft. This was the case on the 200 level. But the good part is that the folks there are very friendly, so you can get to know your neighbors. And you can go down to the walking ring and see the awesome horses and the jockeys. All the ladies in their fancy hats. It is quite a scene.

If you are interested in going to the infield, then more power to you. I wasn't interested and was glad I didn't go there. Some time after the Derby they let people come from the infield to the grandstand side. Saw them coming thru and it looked like an insane asylum had let out. Thirty years ago that would have been me. But I was there for the racing and for the camaraderie and to see what it was all about. It's a great day.
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Sep 9th, 2007, 02:24 AM
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So, NorthwestMale indicates that you can go from the infield to under the grandstand, and behind the grandstand where the paddock and walking ring are. There are spots to sit and rest there - and people watch. Won't be able to see the race, I think.
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Sep 9th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Mrwunrful, I do believe there's an outside monitor now for the paddock area. So you can't see the race in person, but can catch it on a screen.
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Sep 9th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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Yes; I meant live. Like any other track there are TVs in the area under the grandstand showing the odds and the races. So it would be like going for simulcasting.
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Sep 10th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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When we went we also stayed in Jeffersonville, IN, but we asked the girl that drove the hotel van if she was interested in driving us in her own car, she was happy to do it to make the extra money. My friend had hired a limo to pick us up afterward, but we could have used the gal that drove us. It was pretty cheap too.
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Sep 10th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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I stood at the middle of the far turn, in the infield, and watched them go by "live". Monitored the rest of the race via gigantic TV screens mounted on the backstretch and facing the infield.

If a person wanted to sit in front of the TV all day, for the best view, he'd stay home in his living room.

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Sep 10th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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Most of us Louisvillians stay home and watch it on TV!
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Sep 10th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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If you like horses, I would highly suggest going on Oaks Day. You still get the pomp & such w/out the psycho infield crowds. I've been on the 'list' for over 15 years. My Oaks tix are still on the last turn & my Derby tix are still in the infield bleachers. Those (Derby) seats are willed to people you understand, so unless you want to cough up some big $$$, go to the Oaks. There is nothing better than Dawn at the Downs for breakfast, but you'd need to come earlier in the week.
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Sep 10th, 2007, 05:13 PM
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As much of a horse racing fan as I am, I spend most of Derby day in front of the tv with friends! Between ESPN's coverage of the undercard and the network coverage of the race itself, it's better than going to the track! We make mint juleps, Derby Pie, etc.!
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Sep 10th, 2007, 06:45 PM
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You taking bets also ? If so, I'll just stop by your place. No 'hot browns' ??
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Apr 24th, 2008, 06:34 AM
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WannabeinaMontserrat
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It's about that time...
 
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