Celebrate thoroughbred racing’s biggest day at one of Virginia’s Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers where fancy hats, mint juleps and of course wagering, will take place. Churchill Downs, host track of the Kentucky Derby, has big stakes races all afternoon so come early on May 5th and stay through the “Run For The Roses” at 6:45 PM. All four OTBs open at 10 AM and Churchill’s first race that day is at 10:30 AM. Advance betting on the Kentucky Derby is available at all OTBs on Friday May 4th — Kentucky Oaks Day (which also features a 10:30 AM post time). We’ll have pre-printed Churchill programs to sell at all four OTBs both on Oaks and Derby Day. All OTB sites have a select number of tables that can be reserved in advance for Derby Day. Contact each site for availability or stop by and check with the bartender on your next visit.
All four OTBs will have special events on Derby Day — there is a link to each site’s events at the bottom of this page. The Ponies & Pints OTB in downtown Richmond will again have a big indoor/outdoor bash in its large Shockoe Bottom parking lot featuring the area’s biggest Fancy Hat Contest, a disc jockey, a smoker/grill serving up pastrami delights, a VIP area and more. The outdoor party will take place in the large Ponies parking lot and will have five large screen TVs, 10 betting terminals, a mint julep bar, tented areas and more. VIP tickets to the outdoor party are $50 and include 2 drink tickets, food, exclusive access to porta-a-johns, a betting terminal and more. The Fancy Hat contest has combined cash and prizes totaling $1,000.
The Breakers OTB in Henrico (Richmond’s west end) will have a hat contest and special outdoor “Walk Up” advance Derby betting station on the patio for people who want to just bet the Derby but watch it at home. All TVs throughout Breakers will showcase horse racing action Derby Day so there are plenty of reserved seating areas available.
The Buckets OTB in Chesapeake will have a big party throughout its three indoor areas topped off by Tidewater’s largest Fancy Hat Contest. Like the other sites, all TVs will feature horse racing action so the venue can hold lots of players and partygoers on Derby Day. There will also be two manned betting stations in the main dining room to accommodate everyone. The Fancy Hat contest will include $600 in combined cash and prizes and will take place right after the Derby. The party will continue afterwards with live music and a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
The new Windmill OTB site in Collinsville (just outside of the City of Martinsville in Henry County) will offer simulcasting at its brand new second floor OTB per normal, AND its large first floor hotel banquet room will also offer simulcasting to accommodate many additional fans. They will also have a Derby “Bash in the Ballroom” later in the afternoon in a different section. It is a ticketed event that includes food, 2 drink tickets and live country/ bluegrass music with The New Habit. Tickets are just $25 per person or $40 per couple! Plus, since the OTB is in a hotel (Dutch Inn), you can stay right there and not worry about driving. An $80 hotel night package includes a room night and two complete party tickets! There are an unlimited number of free ground level parking spots at the hotel and next door shopping center, so parking will not be an issue.
For more information about Derby Day events, click on any of the locations below.