This Is How You Do The Kentucky Derby Without Going Broke

“Until you go to the Kentucky Derby with your own eyes, behold the Derby, you ain’t never seen nowhere and you ain’t never seen nothing.” – Irvin S. Cobb.
Noah Silliman

The Kentucky Derby is a bucket list item that is smothered in high price hats, dresses, and drinks. A pricy weekend for 120 seconds of racing horses, but will leave you with years of stories, weeks of laughs, and days of hangovers. Here is a breakdown of the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby and your potential financial future come Sunday.


Thurby which takes place on Thursday, May 4th from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. consists of entertainment by local Louisville artists and DJs throughout the track. You can enjoy this event for a much smaller price than the Oaks and Derby at $20 per general admission ticket. Thurby Julep Punch will be the showcase drink of the event and will be a perfect start to your Derby weekend.


Friday is all about the Fillies. Upon arrival you will get to walk the Pink Carpet to show off your Oaks fashion. Pink will be the theme of the day, so be sure to incorporate it into your attire in order to help with the fight against breast and ovarian cancer. The day begins with a Survivors Parade, a march of breast and ovarian cancer survivors. You can partake in the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest for an opportunity to win a Longines time piece.


Saturday is the main event, the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, although the official Kentucky Derby race does not start until 6:46 p.m. you can begin placing your bets at 9: 30 a.m. The first race starts at 10:00 a.m., leaving you plenty of time to grab a Mint Julep, see all the drunken wonders of the infield, and take a trip to the Paddock.

As each event progresses, the dressier people tend to be. If you are in the infield here is a tip, do not wear 4 inch stilettos that are worth more than your car. These shoes are going to get ruined. The infield is just what the name insinuates, a field. As you are budgeting for the weekend ahead be sure to take into account the drinks and the prices, you will spend more money on drinks than you will on your ticket.

You will spend more money betting than you did on your ticket, but at the end of the weekend if you really want to see how irrational you were with your money take the time to average the amount of money you spend per second of the Kentucky Derby (2 minutes). Was it worth it? Of course. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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