On Saturday, May 4, people from all over the world will flock to Louisville to watch the "most exciting two minutes in sports" as the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby returns to Churchill Downs.
For 20 horses and their riders, this is the culmination of their dreams. Open only to three year-old thoroughbreds, the race gives horses only one shot at the Derby.
For the rest of us it's an excuse to wear outrageous hats, drink mint juleps, and cheer our favorite horse to victory. Post time for the race is 6:24 p.m., but the party (and the bourbon drinking) lasts all day. If you can't get to Churchill Downs this weekend, here are the best places to celebrate the run for the roses in Miami:
Bourbon Steak is featuring $5 mint juleps, complimentary southern-style canapés, and prizes for the most creative hats. Derby fans can watch the race on flat-screen televisions. The party's from 5 to 7 p.m. in the bar and lounge area.
Alba Seaside Italian is hosting a poolside Derby party. Starting at 2 p.m., enjoy drinks, music by Code Red, and enter to win a trip to Montauk, New York.
Tongue & Cheek's Derby party/happy hour is from 5 to 7 p.m. and includes mint juleps, Kentucky coladas, and plenty of Woodford Reserve (all $8). And, in honor of the Derby, Saturday's special "family meal" is a hot brown served with Derby pie (chocolate chip pecan pie) with bourbon ice cream for dessert ($10).
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is holding a Derby watch party with a special menu. Feast on turkey Ruben bites ($9); char-grilled swordfish and Florida pink shrimp skewers ($21); Yardbird gumbo ($11); and Mama's hot brown biscuit ($9). For dessert, there's a Rose's pecan praline layer cake served with caramel whiskey ice cream and crunchy maple candy ($10). Wash it all down with a big-ass mint julep ($15) or a peach julep ($15).
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Swine Southern Table & Bar is having it's first Derby party with a special menu of its own. Chow down on a Kentucky hot brown casserole ($12); lil' tea sandwiches and ham biscuits ($10); and smoked and spiced pecans with Tasso ham and homemade hot sauce ($9). For dessert, there's Derby fondue (horseshoe shortbread, strawberries, and white chocolate bourbon balls with a warm dark chocolate dipping sauce) ($9). And, of course, big-ass mint juleps ($15) or peach juleps ($15).
Plus, guests as Yardbird or Swine that dress up in Derby attire (jockey shorts not included, wise guy), wear a Derby hat or buy a mint julep will be able to pick a horse to win. Everyone who has the winning horse will then be entered into a raffle for giveaways.