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Kentucky Derby 2016

  Kentucky Derby History, Facts and More

The Kentucky Derby is steeped in tradition and history.  Here are some links to help you get a sense of the history and participants of the first jewel of the Triple Crown!

Derby Participants
A summary of all past participants that contribute to the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Historical Timeline
Follow the key historical events that helped define the modern day Kentucky Derby.

African Americans in the Kentucky Derby
Learn the roles African-American horsemen like Isaac Murphy played in Derby history.

Women in the Kentucky Derby
Women have owned, bred, trained and ridden Kentucky Derby contenders. Learn about them here.


Dress Code


Being one of the more stylish sporting events of the year, it is important to know what attire is acceptable when attending the Kentucky Derby.


Business casual is required for the Jockey Club and Finish Line suites, Aristides & Stakes rooms, and the Turf Club.


Business casual is best described as the following:

  • Jackets and Blazers
  • Vests, collard shirts, and sweaters
  • Dresses
  • Pantsuits
  • Slacks

Denim, jeans, shorts and tennis shoes are not allowed



Millionaires Row, Matt Winn Dining Room and premium indoor box seats require Casual Attire:

  • Jackets optional, Blazers
  • Vests, collared shirts, and sweaters
  • Dresses, Pantsuits
  • Slack, golf shorts, dress shorts, dress jeans, and capris


Twin Spires Gold Rooms require casual clothing that includes:

  • Collared shirts and golf shirts
  • Slacks
  • Dress jeans and dress shorts


Torn or frayed clothing is inappropriate and not allowed.



Race Day Times


Gates open at 8:00 a.m. for the celebrated races. The first race takes place at 11:00 a.m. The Kentucky Derby begins at 6:04 p.m. and the last race is at 7:27 p.m.



Derby Do's and Dont's


As you prepare for your race day trip to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, security only allows certain items to be carried inside of the race track.  Please note all items are subject for search by authorities.


Items permitted by Churchill Downs at the Kentucky Derby include:

  • Baby Bags
  • Binoculars, cameras and camcorders
  • Blankets
  • Cellular Phones
  • Chairs
  • Packed lunches and food items in clear plastic bags or containers (18� X 18�)
  • Purses
  • Strollers (one child per stroller)
  • Small Radios, TV�s, CD players (none of large size)
  • Tarpaulins (for infield use only)


Items not permitted by Churchill Downs at the Kentucky Derby:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Briefcases, backpacks, luggage pieces, or duffel bags
  • Bottles and cans (beverages and lotion containers)
  • Coolers
  • Grills
  • Thermoses
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons (of any kind, including scissors and knives)
  • Wagons


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