Inside the Kentucky Derby

Click on any of the sections below to learn more.

Ticket Packages, Parties & Tours

Breaking Down the Seating Sections at Churchill Downs

First Timer’s Guide

Paddock Area

You can be amongst the first to enjoy Churchill Downs’ brand-new paddock. This multi-level paddock area offers various viewing options that overlook the paddock so you can watch as the horses and jockeys warm up for their races while you enjoy premium hospitality in a reserved seat.

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Premium Seating

These packages spare nothing but the best for race day. From premium bars, gourmet food selections, impeccable venues and exceptional atmospheres, you can’t go wrong with a premium choice.

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Clubhouse Seating

If you are seeking a seat right at the finish line, you’re looking for the Clubhouse section of Churchill Downs. Spanning from the centermost part of the track all the way down to the first bend, this is one of the most elite seating options available.

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Grandstand Seating

Catch all the action stretching from the starting gate to the round of the final turn from this seating area. It offers three levels of seating, covered and uncovered, granting unparalleled views of the races.

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Kentucky Derby Parties

Taste of Derby

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Kentucky International Convention Center

Enjoy a night full of top chef creations and drink pairings on the eve of the Kentucky Oaks.

Fillies & Lilies Party

Friday, May 3, 2024

Kentucky Derby Museum

Up for a night at the Kentucky Derby Museum? Check out the kick-off party for the Kentucky Derby featuring LIVE entertainment.

Winner's Party

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Kentucky Derby Museum

Partake in the celebration and action of crowning the new champion alongside the winning jockey, trainers, and owners right after the race!

Derby Experiences’ Hospitality Venues for the Kentucky Derby

Your Inclusions Aristides Lounge
Inside the 2nd Floor Clubhouse
Affirmed Lounge
Inside the Derby Museum
Sunny's Halo Lounge
Rooftop Behind Sections 326-238
Inside Churchill Downs®
Climate Controlled
View of the Track
Closed Circuit TV Coverage
Premium Open Bar
All-You-Can-Eat Food Buffets
Celebrity Jockey Meet-and-Greets
Self-Service Wagering
Live Wagering Stations
Live Entertainment

Derby Experiences' Tour Options

Available to all Derby Experiences' clients with an Official Ticket Package purchase.

Backstretch Tour at Dawn

Exclusive to Derby Experiences' clients, the Backstretch Tour will take you to the stables where you can get up close and personal with the horses, trainers, owners, and jockeys.

Private Horse Farm Tours

If you want to know how a working horse farm operates, see their famous stallions or tour the ivy-covered grounds of Keeneland, you don't want to miss the opportunity for a private horse farm tour to get behind the fences.

Bourbon Distillery Tours

For more than 200 years, Kentucky's legendary distilleries have crafted the world's finest bourbons. Discover the art itself and taste a few on a Bourbon Distillery Tour.

The Best of Kentucky Tour

Want to combine a horse farm tour and a bourbon distillery tour? The Best of Kentucky is what you're looking for!

Your Event Weekend Information

What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby

Fashion and style have been a major part of the Kentucky Derby since its inception in 1875.

For the Ladies
  • Big Hats
  • Bright Colors
  • Think Pink for the Kentucky Oaks
  • Dresses, Skirts, Rompers & Pantsuits 
  • Dress for the Weather
For the Gentlemen
  • Suits
  • Bright Colors & Bold Patterns
  • Bow Ties or Ties
  • Loafers or Dress Shoes
  • Comfort is Key

Churchill Downs Facility Maps

See below to view Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Grounds Maps

Facility Map

Seating Chart

Wagering 101

Placing a bet is a huge part of the Kentucky Derby for many at Churchill Downs. There are many tricks of the trade and superstitions that come along, how to bet, types of bets, down to what to wear when you bet.

How to Bet


The race’s number
(i.e., the first race of the day would be “race number one”)


The type of bet you would like to make. Here you’ll use betting terminology like Win, Place, etc.


The dollar amount of your wager.


The number of the horse as it is referred to in your racing program. 

For Example
“Race 3, $2 to win on #4”

Wagering 101 Guide

Betting Terms

Your horse must finish first for you to cash a ticket.

If your horse finishes first or second, you are a winner.

You are a winner if your horse finishes anywhere among the top three.

You're betting to win, place and show. If your horse wins, you collect on win, place and show. If your horse comes in second, you collect on the place and show bets. If your horse comes in third, you collect on the show bet.

Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races, usually the first and second. To collect, you must select the winner of two consecutive races. For example, you must select the winner of the first race and the second race. Wagers must be placed before the first of your two races.

To collect, you must pick the winners of three consecutive races. You must make your selections before the first race of your Pick 3 wager.

To collect, you must pick the winners of four consecutive races. You must make your selections before the first race of your Pick 4 wager.

You can increase your chances of winning with boxes and wheels because they allow you to combine several bets all on one ticket.

You win by picking the first two horses to cross the finish line in exact, or perfect, order.

Term to indicate covering your selections in all possible finish orders. Example: $2 Exacta Box numbers 3 & 8 horses.

Is similar to an exacta and trifecta, except you must pick the horses that finish first, second, third and fourth in exact order.

NOTE: Trifecta and Superfecta wagering on all races that qualify under Kentucky statutes. Daily Double and Super High-5 wagers are $1 minimum straight bets. On Oaks Day and Derby Day, the Superfecta is a $1.00 minimum wager. Trifecta, Pick-3, Pick-4 and Pick-5 wagers are $.50 minimum straight bets. The Pick-6 is a $2.00 minimum wager. The Exacta is a $2.00 minimum straight bet with $1.00 boxes and wheels.

What to do in Louisville, Kentucky

Nightlife & Derby Parties

Fourth Street LIVE!

Located on Fourth Street between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, it's the heart of Louisville. From the Hard Rock Café to the Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge to the Fourth Street LIVE! Stage, top musicians come to perform during Derby week.

Fillies & Lilies Party

Held immediately following the Kentucky Oaks, live entertainment will take the stage at the Fillies & Lilies Party. Guests can enjoy the open bar and mingle with celebrities as they dance the night away.

Restaurants & Bars

Doc Crow’s

If you're looking for savory entrees that will melt in your mouth, Doc Crow's Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar are where you need to be. With selections such as fried oysters, beef brisket, catfish, and po-boys on the menu, there is something for everyone!

Proof on Main

Whether you're seeking breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or dessert, you can find delectable dishes at Proof on Main. With items such as egg white frittatas, shrimp 'n' grits, bison burgers, fresh scallops, and gelati on the menu throughout the day, you can't go wrong.

Jack Fry’s

With tasty options paired with live music on the weeknights, Jack Fry's knows how to bring you in with great performances and make you stay for the fantastic food. There's not much better than the delicious, local Louisville dishes on the menu.

About The Kentucky Derby

About the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby

The trumpeter sounds the “Call to Post,” eyes shift to the starting gate, the announcer readies the contenders …and they’re off! The gates release a thundering stampede of hooves; the stands come alive with a gargantuan roar, and a sea of waving tickets and fists surge to the air... who will be victorious? Click Here to see a recap of the 2019 Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Oaks

Held on the eve of the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks is a thrilling stakes race covering 1 1/8 miles and features three-year-old thoroughbred fillies. Taking place on the first Friday of May, it also celebrates Churchill Downs' partnership with Bright Pink and Horses & Hope. Guests are encouraged to think pink for their attire to honor the partnerships and the Oaks' official flower, the stargazer lily.

Kentucky Derby

Known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” the Kentucky Derby brings horse racing fans and patrons to Churchill Downs annually on the first Saturday of May. The Kentucky Derby is the longest continuously running event in the United States and remains the first leg of the coveted Triple Crown™. The Derby race features three-year-old thoroughbreds who race the 1 ¼ mile stretch for the honor of the roses.

Celebrity Sightings & Client Reviews

Celebrity Appearances at the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby weekend is filled with Legendary Jockeys, Hollywood Celebrities, Celebrated Musicians, World-Class Athletes, and more! When booking with Derby Experiences, your weekend is sure to be elevated by one or more appearances to create the ultimate weekend. Here are some of the guests we have had in the past:

Legendary Jockey,
Pat Day
Hall of Famer & Triple Crown Winner,
Steve Cauthen
Triple Crown Winning Jockey,
Jean Cruguet
Pro Football Hall of Famers including
Warren Moon & Thurman Thomas
Wynonna Judd
Country Singer-Songwriter,
Sara Evans

Derby Experiences' Raving Fans

Our seats were really good. Enjoyed being on the final turn, where you could see the jockeys make their big move turning toward the backstretch. And also got to see the horses being loaded for many races.

W. B.

I've wanted to be at the Kentucky Derby in the grandstands on my birthday since I was little. I had to wait until my 65th birthday, but this fulfilled my dream very well. Thank You.

C. S.

The food and drinks were great! The staff was excellent. Very helpful and friendly!!

R. M.

The Hospitality lounge was fantastic, not a complaint, much more than we expected.

L. S.

My entire derby experience was wonderful!!

E. F.

A class event done well, recommend it highly!

K. R.

This was our first time at the Kentucky Derby and we loved it! We will be back.

H. S.

Our experience was amazing!! You are top-notch!! The best!!

R. S.

I loved it! Overall great experience. Seats and smarty jones lounge were great! Will be using you guys again next year!

J. L.

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