They might be only 3 years old, but the horses expected to race in this year's Kentucky Derby are some of the most talented athletes in the world.
Most of the thoroughbreds, including Run for the Roses favorite Justify, are already at Louisville's Churchill Downs to prepare for the "fastest two minutes in sports."
This Saturday, May 5, at 6:46 p.m. marks the running of the 144th Kentucky Derby, with millions of dollars on the line. Derby Day also falls on Cinco de Mayo, meaning that many watch parties will mesh the two celebrations. Expect everything from traditional hat contests to juleps made with tequila as you cheer for your favorite horse.
All events will take place May 5, with the culmination of the festivities at 6:46 p.m. for the race.
Bourbon Steak. Special drinks include a mint julep and a mule made with Redemption bourbon for $10 each. From 5 to 7 p.m., enjoy complimentary canapes and raffle giveaways. Watch the race on two TVs. Turnberry Isle Miami, 9999 W. Country Club Dr, Aventura; 786-279-6600; turnberryislemiami.com/dining/bourbon-steak.
Etaru Hallandale. Try a take on a traditional mint julep. The Kori julep ($12) is made with Kikori whiskey, Buffalo Trace bourbon, lemongrass syrup, mint leaves, Thai basil leaves, lemon juice, and Angostura bitters. 111 S. Surf Rd., Hallandale Beach; 954-271-3222; etarurestaurant.us.
L Bar. Enjoy a Kentucky Buck ($13), made with Bulleit bourbon, lemon juice, strawberry bitters, and ginger beer, while you watch the race. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 954-327-7625; seminolehardrockhollywood.com.
MIA Kitchen & Bar. This Delray Beach eatery will serve Kentucky hot browns and bourbon cocktails. A Woodford Reserve mint julep and a Brown Derby cost $10 each. 7901 W. Atlantic Ave., #101, Delray Beach; 561-499-2200; mia.kitchen.
Naked Taco. Ralph Pagano's South Beach party spot will celebrate Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby all day with food and drinks specials and giveaways, dancing girls, and luchadores. Pagano and his friend Big Frank will host betting tutorials for Derby Day, and all TVs will show the race. 1111 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-8455; nakedtacomiami.com.
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No. 3 Social. Les Dames d'Escoffier South Florida will host a scholarship fundraiser at this rooftop bar. From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., enjoy a welcome champagne, mint julep, crab cakes, Kentucky hot browns, Derby pie bites, and other food and drinks. Tickets cost $50 via eventbrite.com. 50 NW 24th St., Miami; no3social.com.
Smith & Wollensky. From 4 to 7 p.m., the South Beach restaurant will host the third-annual Chapman Partnership for the Homeless watch party. The festivities include light bites, mint juleps, and a hat and bow-tie contest, so wear your finest. Tickets cost $45 in advance via chapmanpartnership.org and $55 at the door. 1 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-2800; smithandwollensky.com.
StripSteak by Michael Mina. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., enjoy Derby-inspired hors d'oeuvres, hot brown sandwiches, and bourbon balls. Drink a mint julep ($5) in a custom julep tin, and take part in the best-dressed contest. Place a "bet" on your favorite horse for a chance to win dinner at StripSteak. Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-4780; fontainebleau.com/dining/stripsteak.
Swine Southern Table & Bar. From 4 p.m. till closing, celebrate Cinco de Derby with $7 tequila mint juleps and bourbon daisies, a best-hat contest, and raffles.2415 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 786-360-6433; runpigrun.com.
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. The sister location to Swine has the same fun offerings. From 4 p.m. till closing, celebrate Cinco de Derby with $7 tequila mint juleps and bourbon daisies, a best-hat contest, and raffles. 1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-5220; runchickenrun.com.