Kentucky Derby – 2015

On the Saturday of The Kentucky Derby, I woke up early to begin getting ready.

The Derby race itself is at the end of the day, but there are other races going on all day.

My hosts provided a great buffet breakfast as we hurried about adjusting dresses, hats, and bow-ties for the men.

Next, we took some hurried photos of our group.

The same driver who drove us to The Bourbon Trail, on the previous day, drove us to Churchill Downs.

We arrived around 11:30 a.m.

Derby 1 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Programs, Forms and Tip Sheets

Derby 2 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Derby Clothes

Derby 3 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Derby Dresses and Hats

Derby 4 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

The Derby Crowd

I didn’t have a press pass so I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to bring my camera in.

Instead, I used a point and shoot (capable of taking RAW photos).

Me – And My Derby Hat (iPhone)

We had fantastic seats (with shade – thank goodness!) which had been secured by my hosts many months prior.

We spent the day drinking mint juleps and making two dollar bets on the races.

Apparently, over 120,000 mint juleps are sold each year at the Derby.

I’m pretty sure the group I was with drank at least that many.

(I still don’t like bourbon, but when in Rome ….!)

The drinks cost eleven dollars each and you get to keep the glass as a souvenir.

Mint Julep © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty

There are vendors everywhere yelling “Juleps!  Juleps!” as they walk around with tray, after tray, of icy mint juleps.

I kept having the sensation of having time-traveled to the 1920’s.

All the women with hats, and the men with bow-ties, hats, suspenders, etc., added to the feeling of time warp.

Derby 5 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

A Look at the Derby Crowd

The races themselves were very exciting, although I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the horses.

Derby 6 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Horse Racing at the Kentucky Derby

I had a great time cheering for “my” horses even though I didn’t win much.

People-watching couldn’t have been better.

So many people!

So many hats!

Derby 7 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

People of all ages, and backgrounds, bet at the Derby.

It really was a fun day.

By the end of the day, we were all exhausted.

Derby 8 © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

More Derby Hats!

I was happy our driver was ready and waiting to take us back to my hosts’ house.

(Having a driver is definitely a luxury, but it was so great not to have to worry about a designated driver, Derby traffic, and/or just pure exhaustion from a long, exciting, day.)

We arrived “home” around 8:30 p.m.

My hosts had arranged one more surprise for the weekend.

I walked into their house as a (truly amazing) chef began pulling trays and trays of appetizers out of the oven.

They hired a chef who had arrived hours earlier while we were at the Derby!

I felt like royalty … and, simultaneously, spoiled rotten.

The food was absolutely amazing.

After appetizers, the chef began pulling out main courses and side dishes.

We gathered plates for the buffet and indulged.

By 11 p.m. we were all exhausted and ready for bed.

It was truly an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime, day.

11 Responses to “Kentucky Derby – 2015”

  1. Michelle

    The hat and dress look lovely. What a great color match.

    And some amazing people watching. The lady looking at the form guide in the second last photo looks like she could use some cheering up. 😉

    • Suzanne

      Thank you.
      Yep, the people watching was fun!

    • Suzanne

      It really was an amazing weekend.
      Lots of fun and I was spoiled rotten.
      : )

  2. Julie J

    Thanks for sharing with us. Looks like a really fun time and I loved your dress and hat, you looked darlin’!

  3. Just me, Vee

    I can’t watch horse races either…I feel so badly for the horses. I live in San Diego, and last year at Del Mar, 8 horses died within 2 weeks. They are such magnificent animals.

    • Suzanne

      Ugh – that’s terrible.
      I don’t think I want to know what goes on behind the scenes with horse racing.
      : (

  4. Julieanne

    You looked lovely Suzanne, whole weekend sounded awesome, we are going to the Aussie equivalent this year for my birthday

    • Suzanne

      Thank you Julieanne.
      I hope you have a great time.
      It sounds like a fun birthday activity!

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