By Tammy Mick

The Kentucky Derby is Fast Approaching

With such a rich history and being labeled “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”, crowds are definitely going to be at maximum capacity. This day should be a relaxing day to enjoy not only one of the oldest sporting events but to appreciate the culture, from the parade playing “My Old Kentucky Home” to the impressive and elaborate hats that are worn by female patrons. Get ready for the 2020 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2nd.

First Kentucky Derby: Everything You Need to Know Before Attending

Rain or shine, there’s nothing that can put a damper on Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. From the ladies’ hats to the mint juleps to celebrity sightings, there’s no day like Derby Day.

Are you lucky enough to be attending your first Kentucky Derby? From how to get there to how to enjoy every minute of it, we’ve got you covered.

Read on for 5 insider’s tips to the one and only Kentucky Derby.

1.Arrange Your Transportation

Unless you have a pre-assigned parking spot, don’t even think of driving to Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

150,000 converging on the same venue makes for a parking disaster. You’ll see people who live nearby advertising parking spaces at their home for $30, $50, or even $100.

A smarter (and saner) route is to arrange for private dropoff and pickup. From sedans and vintage cars to busses for large groups. Consider Gold Shield Cars to ride in style.

2. Know What You Can (and Can’t) Bring

Security is understandably tight at the Kentucky Derby.

You’re free to bring in lawn chairs, blankets, and even boxed lunches (in clear containers). But there’s a long list of prohibited items you’ll want to leave at the hotel.

These include:

  • Coolers, cans, and glass beverages
  • Computers, camcorders, or cameras with detachable lenses
  • Tripods and selfie sticks
  • Purses, backpacks, or bags larger than 12 inches
  • Umbrellas (even if it’s raining)

If in doubt, don’t bring it. Better to leave those items in the room than lose them at the security gate.

3. Check the Weather

Kentucky Derby Fashion

Some Derby Days dawn warm and sunny. Others are chilly and drizzling–or downright pouring.

Check the forecast before you head to Lexington to make sure you’re prepared. Sunscreen and hats are vital for sunny days, while a plastic poncho could be your best friend if it rains.

4. Be Sure to Dress the Part

The Kentucky Derby is one of the world’s most outrageous (and fun) fashion shows.

Ladies, buy a hat for the occasion–you’ll regret it if you don’t. Wear your most colorful springtime dress and shoes but bring a comfortable pair of flip-flops to change into if your feet start to ache.

Gentlemen, if you’ve got any flamboyant suits lying around, now is the occasion to wear them. If flashy isn’t your style, get into the spirit with a bowtie, fedora, or bowler hat.

5. Pace Yourself

Our final tip for your first Kentucky Derby is to pace yourself–it’s going to be a long day.

The gates open at 8:00 am, but the actual race won’t go off until after 6:00 pm. In between, there are plenty of other races, photo ops, and people-watching to enjoy.

A mint julep is obligatory on Derby Day, but don’t overdo it on the alcohol. Take a break in the shade if the sun gets too hot. Make sure you have plenty of energy left when the horses (finally) reach the starting gate.

Ready for Your First Kentucky Derby?

Kentucky Derby 2020

When you attend your first Kentucky Derby–or your twentieth–you’ll understand why this race has captivated spectators for 145 years.

The Most Thrilling Kentucky Derby Highlights

It’s every racehorse trainer and owner’s dream to win the Triple Crown, and the Kentucky Derby is one of the stepping stones to this accomplishment. Last year, to add even more excitement to the fray, the contestants will be battling it out for a record-breaking purse of $3 million dollars. This mind-boggling amount of money makes this year’s Derby week worth an incredible $12.03 million.

The Greats and the Not-So-Great

One of the reasons the Kentucky Derby is so exciting is because it’s so unpredictable. There have been some upsets, a few unpleasant incidents, and many a moment of glory for a crowd favorite. Many of the Kentucky Derby horses who have risen to the challenge in the Run for the Roses have gone down in history for their achievements. They’ve lived to become some of the greatest stallions the breeding barn has ever known.

Who can forget the world’s darling, Secretariat? Lauded as the fastest horse of all time, Secretariat still holds the record for all three of the Triple Crown races. Other memorable Kentucky Derby moments include the famous 1933 tussle between jockeys Don Meade and Herb Fisher at the finish line where they laid into each other with their whips. What about Dancer’s Image who streaked past the line first and was later disqualified?

In more recent times, another crowd-pleaser, Big Brown, became the only horse to ever overcome the draw from post 20 and win the race. The list goes on and on, and there are plenty of other highlights of the Derby that take place off the turf.

Trackside Kentucky Derby Highlights

Some of the unique traditions associated with this race are:

Nobody ever wears green to the races; it’s considered bad luck. At Gold Shield, we have traditions too. One of them is our annual Kentucky Derby package for racing fans.

Kentucky Derby Transpiration 

Have you booked your spot to enjoy this year’s Kentucky Derby highlights from one of the plush hospitality venues, or will you be cheering from the bleachers instead? Either way, we bet you’ll want to arrive in style. We have a range of charters available for special events. Book your limo for Kentucky Derby 2020 with us today and be a winner from the word go.

This year the Kentucky Derby will be held on Saturday, May 2nd. For more information please visit,

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