A Louisvillian’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby

By May 4, 2013June 18th, 2018No Comments

derby-infieldThe first Saturday in May is a wonderful time when the nation, for two sweet, sweet minutes, turns its bloodshot, playoff weary eyes to the greatest city nobody’s ever been to. For the 139th time, Louisville, Kentucky will host the Kentucky Derby. If you’re lucky, like me, you grew up in Louisville and have been to the Derby every year since you decided that drinking too much and looking at breasts was your kinda gig. But if you’re amongst those who haven’t had the pleasure, here is my guide to enjoying like the Derby like a true Louisvillian.

What to Wear                              

There are two ways to go about Derby fashion:


If you decide to actually look presentable this Derby Day, then seersucker is the way to go. If you consider yourself a god-fearing, heterosexual man, the Kentucky Derby is the only venue where seersucker is acceptable. For some reason, women love a Derby day man in this heavy, sweaty fabric. If you decide to wear seersucker on Saturday, be sure to hydrate early because you will, no doubt, sweat more than Matthew Modine cutting weight in Vision Quest. I would also suggest doubling down on the antiperspirant.

The other dress option for Derby is what I refer to as “pass-out” casual. If you plan on ending your day dry-humping a cooler, I suggest loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. A comfortable pair of running shoes are also a must if you plan on outrunning the cops after you’re caught urinating in public.

What to Drink

One of the time honored traditions of the Derby is sneaking in booze. Wherever you may be celebrating this year, I suggest you do the same. Through the years, many ingenious means have been devised. False-bottom coolers, taping a pint to your inner thigh or stuffing booze-filled balloons into your girlfriend’s bra are all great ways to avoid buying $10 beers at your favorite bar.

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is the mint-julep. I recommend steering clear of this concoction. While crushed mint, simple syrup and bourbon may sound delectable, it is actual worse than drinking the leftover booze in the bar mats at a shady Mexican restaurant. I suggest you give your taste buds a reprieve and stick to straight liquor and beer. 

Waiting for the race

If you’re like me, you’ll plan on starting the drinking early. The only problem is that the race doesn’t start until damn near seven. That’s a lot of pre-gaming. You’re gonna need something to do to pass the time and why not pass the time in true Derby fashion. Here are a few ideas:

run derby porta potty

Porta-Potty sprinting is a relatively new Derby tradition. It’s simple. Find a length of porta potties, climb aboard and try to run across them as fast as possible. Sound easy? Nope! Not when your buddies (and strangers) throw beer bottles at you trying to knock you off. It’s like king of the mountain except at the end of this game, you’re not standing on a mound of dirt, you’re face down in a puddle of piss with a dislocated elbow and in need of several stitches. Fun times!

Understandably, scaling portable shit boxes isn’t everybody’s thing. But I guarantee my next suggestion will be. Breasts! While waiting to watch diminutive Latino men ride 2-ton animals, there is nothing better than looking at the female form. All you need is a drunk girl, her equally drunk boyfriend and a willingness to show the world what your momma gave you. The anticipation of seeing a girl with low self-esteem make a huge mistake can make five hours feel like five minutes.

passed out

The number one way to pass the time before the big race is a simple one: Drink. Whether it be drinking games or just good old fashioned slow-sipping, drinking will make the long hours leading up the race fly by in a flash. Be careful though, many a good man has passed out well before the playing of “My Old Kentucky Home” or worse, lost the winning ticket because you lost your pants.

So there you go, follow these suggestions and there is no doubt your Kentucky Derby Saturday will be a success. Not only will it be fun, but you will be doing it like a real Louisvillian. Enjoy!