Fancy hats, mint juleps and horse race wagering all come together at RVA’s biggest Kentucky Derby party on Saturday May 5th in Shockoe Bottom. Ponies & Pints, one of only two area venues where horse race wagering is allowed, will host the festivities both inside their 6,000 square foot restaurant/bar, and outside in an adjacent parking lot.
Thoroughbred racing action from Churchill Downs is available via live simulcast at Ponies & Pints beginning at 10:30 AM. The day’s main focus though is the “Run for the Roses” itself, where a field of 20 horses will break from the starting gate at 6:45 PM. Racing enthusiasts and partygoers can watch and wager action from Churchill and nine other tracks inside all day, then in the parking lot starting at 2 PM when the party itself begins. A DJ will keep a party vibe going through the early evening hours and the area’s largest Fancy Hat contest will take place after the Derby. A combined $1,000 in cash and prizes will be up for grabs. A panel of judges will seek out the most elegant , creative and outrageous headwear. A pair of Preakness tickets will be awarded to the best dressed gentleman. The parking lot will feature tents, a grill/cooker serving food, a mint julep bar, five large screen TVs, ten betting stations and wagering assistance personnel to help attendees make Derby bets.
Several upgrade options are also available. The parking lot party will have a VIP section where a $50 ticket includes two drinks, food, a private bar, porta-johns, TV’s and betting windows. Inside, a limited number of reserved tables for four can be purchased for $100. An Ultimate VIP table for 10 is also available to the highest bidder. That includes a personal betting terminal, five TVs surrounding the table, a dedicated server and Churchill Downs programs. These three items can be purchased from bar staff any day or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advance Derby betting is available on Friday May 4th, which is also Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs. Pre-printed programs will be on sale both days. Derby attire is encouraged. Ponies & Pints is located at 110 N. 18th Street. For more details, visit www.virginiahorseracing.com or www.facebook.com/
And, Derby Day’s parking lot party is just the first of three Triple Crown events outdoors at Ponies & Pints. Preakness Day will feature a craft beer fest in the parking lot! Stay tuned for a list of beers that you can sample or get full pours of. On Derby Day, everyone’s first drink will be in a souvenir cup. Each refill — on Derby, Preakness & Belmont Day — will be just $5 when you use that cup!