While the taste of mint juleps, the sight of flashy hats, and the sounds of top-flight thoroughbred racing seem synonymous with a trip to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, those south Floridian racing fans unable to make the trip north for this year’s “Run for the Roses” can treat their senses to similar delights when Calder Casino & Race Course hosts “Florida’s Biggest Kentucky Derby Party” on Saturday, May 4.
In addition to a full afternoon of live racing, with first post at 12:50 p.m., Calder will offer a variety of dining, entertainment, and simulcast wagering options throughout the day, leading up to the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, scheduled to start at approximately 6:24 p.m. and expected to include local hopeful Itsmyluckyday, winner of the Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Calder in 2012.
Racing action at Calder won’t be limited to equines on Derby Day as a full field of media celebrities will gather on the main track for the “Calder Media Foot Race for Charity,” a 100-yard dash from the starting gate to the finish line in which each media celebrity is competing on behalf of a chosen charity, with Calder to make a $2,500 donation to each charity.
Guests stopping by the TSC Elite Players Club on Derby Day will have a chance to pad their bankroll by entering a mutuel voucher giveaway that will see $1,000 in prize money awarded. A total of 20 winners will be chosen at random throughout the day, with each to receive a $50 betting voucher that is good for a wager on this year’s Derby.
High-end dining choices will be available in two locations on Derby Day, with the fifth-floor Turf Club presenting a “Buffet of Derby Classics” from noon to 6 p.m. for just $39, and the Clubhouse dining area on the fourth floor to be open with a buffet available for $29. Advance reservations for both dining rooms are highly recommended.
Guests looking to enjoy a more casual food and drink experience can visit the trackside area at Calder where an afternoon of live music, barbecue, and all-day drink specials, including mint juleps, will be offered. There will also be a Ladies’ Hat contest, with designer prizes to be awarded.
For those racing fans coming out to Calder strictly to handicap and bet on the races, full-card simulcast wagering will be available on the entire stakes-filled Churchill Downs program, along with a day of live racing at Calder, and full-card simulcasting from other racing venues across North America.
General parking and admission to Calder Casino & Race Course is free. Again, reservations for the Turf Club and for Clubhouse dining on Kentucky Derby Day are highly encouraged. Reserved box seating packages are also available. For more information, or to make reservations, call (305) 625-7227.