This Saturday, May 4, at 6:50pm, the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby—i.e. “the most exciting two minutes in sports”—will run at Churchill Downs. If you find yourself in Saratoga Springs, here are 11 great places to watch the Derby with fellow racing fans.
Location: National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
The most obvious place to celebrate Derby Day is The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. This year, The Derby Party boasts Kentucky-style dishes, live music by the East End Boys and Rich Ortiz, and onsite wagering. While the races air live in the Hall of Fame, guests can pose in the photo booth, enter various raffles and auctions and compete for most fashionable Derby attire. Tickets range from $25 to $75, and will not be available for purchase at the door, so be sure to buy them ahead of time.
Location: Saratoga National Golf Club
This Derby party features a live airing of the race, cash bar, Habana cigars, food concessions, live music by The Audiostars and more. Tickets are $30, and typically sell out, so act fast.
Location: Vapor Night Club at Saratoga Casino Hotel
Vapor’s free event boasts a 16-foot screen to watch the Derby on and a best hat contest, judged by Joyce Locks of Hatsational, with prizes ranging from $100 to $250. Drink specials include $4 Coors and Miller Lights and $5 Jack Daniels Mint Juleps. Advanced table and lounge packages are available as well. Afterwards, DJ Element will keep the party going, with the Derby After Party starting at 9pm.
Location: Saratoga Automobile Museum
Bring the whole family to the Saratoga Auto Museum for its first-ever Derby Day party. The afternoon will include music, craft cocktails, gourmet food samplings and a meet-and-greet with therapy horses. There will also be a Derby hat creation station for kids, a silent auction and, of course, a live viewing of the big race. All proceeds benefit Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga, an organization that supports retired racehorses. Tickets are $125 for couples, $75 for adults, $35 for children seven and up and free for children six and under.
Location: Taverna Novo
Watch the Derby—and the weekend’s entire racing card at Churchill Downs—at the cozy Taverna Novo. All four of the restaurant’s TV’s will be tuned in to the races, and diners can enjoy wine specials.
Location: 2 West Bar & Grill
At 2 West Bar & Grille’s Derby Party, enjoy drink specials, including a Blueberry Mint Julep and Kentucky Mule, as well as a five for $20 bucket of Corona, Corona Light, Corona Premier or Modello Especial. Any purchase comes with a Superfecta Ticket Giveaway. Make your reservations now!
Location: The Lodge
With onsite wagering windows, the fourth annual “And They’re Off” Derby Day Party, which benefits Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar, guarantees to be a winner. The cocktail party features live viewing of the races, valet parking and an open bar. “Butler-passed” hors d’oeuvres, displays, carving stations and desserts will also be provided. Nearly 100 percent of the $125 ticket price will go toward benefitting fiscally disadvantaged students in the region and help them realize their dreams of attending college. Ticket sales end Wednesday, May 1, so get your ticket now.
Location: R&R Kitchen and Bar at 43 Phila
Join R&R Kitchen and Bar from 2-7:30pm for various food and drink specials. The event will have promotions and tastings from Maker’s Mark, Basil Hayden, Redemption and Woodford Reserve. Special menu items include $1 oysters, mini Kentucky browns (a type of sandwich), pork tacos, chorizo sliders, tuna nachos and fried chicken on a biscuit. There will be contests and prizes as well!
Location: Wheatfields Restaurant & Bar
With no cover charge, free food and viewing, the Wheatfields Annual Kentucky Derby Party is a great way to celebrate the big race. Drink specials include $5 Adirondack Brewery Drafts (keep the pint glass!) and Mint Juleps. Free food includes assorted pizzas, mini Italian sliders, fried pasta, mini meatballs and antipasti. There will also be a best hat contest, trifecta ticket giveaways and a 50/50 raffle, with proceeds benefiting Saratoga WarHorse.
Location: Dock Brown’s
Dock’s Tavern on Saratoga Lake will be hosting a viewing party of the Derby. The free event includes live music and drink specials, including $4 Blue Moon drafts, $3 Angry Orchard Rosé Ciders and $4 Mint Juleps.
Location: The Adelphi Hotel
Enjoy live streaming of the 145th Kentucky Derby and cash bar at Morrissey’s at The Adelphi Hotel.