horse-racing
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Mint Juleps, Big Hat Contest, Kentucky Derby Director’s Room Party and more! If you can’t get to Louisville, there is a little known gem on the Kentucky-Tennessee border about 45 minutes north of Nashville, Tennessee called Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Kentucky.

Besides boasting one of the shortest live racing meets in the U.S. (5 days $10,000,000 in turf stakes races and Breeders Cup Qualifiers), they also have a casino and over 100 TVs to enjoy pari-mutuel betting from tracks across the country.

“The Largest Derby Party South of Louisville provides the excitement, the wagering opportunities and even the fancy-hat environment of the Derby with free admission and parking — hoopla without hassle,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ senior vice president and general manager. “We are the go-to place in south-central Kentucky, most of Tennessee and northern Alabama to celebrate America’s greatest race. For those staging parties, we’re also a convenient way to place bets early, including having advance wagering on the entire Kentucky Derby card during the May 3 Kentucky Oaks program.”

General admission and parking are always free at Kentucky Downs, with valet parking available for $5 (complimentary for Diamond and Platinum Players Club members). More than 100 flat-screen monitors throughout the facility will show in high-def all the action from Churchill Downs, with a proliferation of mutuel clerks and self-bet machines on hand to keep lines short for making wagers.

The second-floor simulcast center offers seating on a first-come, first-served basis, as does the first-floor bar and lounge area. The lounge terrace will be set up with chairs, tables and a bar for an outdoor option anchored by Kentucky Downs’ massive video screen.

The second-floor Director’s Room will provide a more upscale experience for guests, the $50 per-person charge including a daylong catered buffet and table seating, race program and featuring dedicated betting windows and cash bar. The Derby Day Director’s Room tickets can be purchased at https://www.kentuckydowns.com/racing/events/derby-party

Those seeking more action between races will be just steps away from Kentucky Downs’ gaming floor and 753 historical horse racing terminals.

Kentucky Downs again will stage a Derby hat contest, with cash prizes for the top selections. Mint Juleps in the official Derby 145 souvenir glass will be sold for $8.

The fun continues after the races with the popular Nashville rock-and-roll band AC Drive performing in the lounge.

Guests must be at least 21 years old to access the gaming floor, 18 for simulcasting and bingo, with the exception of Lucky 7s Diner and KD Cafe.

In addition to advance wagering on the Derby card during the May 3 Kentucky Oaks program, Kentucky Downs again is conducting a $2,000 championship for its Road to the Roses handicapping tournament series. The top 15 handicappers each week in the free Friday tournament earn qualifying points throughout the run-up to the Kentucky Oaks, with the top 25 point-earners making the Oaks Day final. Qualifying began March 1, with standings available at https://kentuckydowns.com/racing/simulcasting.

Kentucky Downs also will conduct its regular free handicapping contest on Oaks Day, with $250 in cash prizes, for those who don’t qualify for the Road to the Roses championship.

WIN BIG WITH A BIG HAT

Wear a big hat, and you could win cash in our Hat Contest! Register for your chance to win between 11AM and 3:30PM. Judging will take place at 4PM.

  • 1st place: $250
  • 2nd place: $100
  • 3rd place: $50
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