The Biggest Derby Party in Town runs noon to 8:30 p.m. on Turfway’s fourth floor. Admission and parking are free.
From 3 to 8 p.m., Cincinnati party band My Sister Sarah will take the Turfway Park stage.
While they wait for the Run for the Roses, fans can play games for cash prizes and Derby souvenirs and other merchandise. The annual Derby Hat Contest is judged by the crowd, and campaigning by contestants is encouraged.
While most of the Turfway facility is open for first come-first served seating, some reserved seats remain in the Top of the Park, the track’s fifth-floor dining room, and in Players’ Row on the first floor. Top of the Park, a non-smoking area, offers a buffet for $20 and seating at tables with and without individual TVs. The buffet is available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Players’ Row, on the first floor, offers individual handicapping workstations with TVs for $5; smoking and non-smoking sections are available. Reserved seating in the Homestretch restaurant is sold out. Reservations are available by calling (859) 371-0200 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Turfway’s gates open at 10 a.m. both Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, players can place advance wagers on the entire Churchill Downs race card for Saturday as well as the Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby Double. Advance wagering is available Friday from about 11:30 a.m. through about 10 p.m.
Three contenders expected to run in the Kentucky Derby (G1) prepped for the big race in the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway: winner Animal Kingdom, trained by Graham Motion; runner-up Decisive Moment, trained by Juan Arias; and third-place finisher Twinspired, trained by Mike Maker.
Turfway also prepared three fillies for the Kentucky Oaks (G1), which runs Friday. Tuning up for the Kentucky Oaks in the Bourbonette Oaks (G3) at Turfway on Spiral Stakes day were winner Summer Soiree, now also trained by Motion; third-place finisher Suave Voir Faire, trained by D. M. Smithwick Jr. ; and fourth-place finisher Lilacs and Lace, trained by John Terranova II.
On Friday’s card simulcast from Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Oaks is the 11th of 12 races and goes off at 5:45 p.m. On Saturday, the Kentucky Derby is the 11th of 13 races from Churchill and goes off at 6:24 p.m. Post time for the first race from Churchill Downs is 10:30 a.m. both days.