I gotta hold off on the mint juleps this year: I'm running at Calder Casino and Race Course Saturday for Kentucky Derby Day. On the track. Just hours before everyone bets the simulcast at the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.
The inaugural Calder Media Foot Race for Charity is a 100-yard dash from the starting gate to the Calder finish wire. Eleven other media types and I will participate in what the track is calling “Florida's Biggest Kentucky Derby Day Party.” The four main local TV stations will be represented, as will seven radio stations. I think to make it fair, they should all carry microphones or cameras. I'd even things up with a notebook and a pen.
Post time for the first live thoroughbred race at Calder is 12:55 p.m. My race is set for 2:25 p.m. The 138th running of the Kentucky Derby, simulcast from Churchill Downs, is set for 6:24 p.m.
No betting will be allowed, which is a good thing, because any money wagered on me would be wasted. I have one speed, and it's called “waddle.”
For those people looking to feast, the fifth-floor Turf Club will present its “Buffet of Derby Classics” from noon to 6 p.m. for $37.95. The fourth-floor clubhouse also will offer a buffet, for $25.
The trackside area at Calder will feature an afternoon of live music, barbecue and drink specials, including mint juleps. A derby hat contest will award prizes for most stylish, most unique, biggest and best overall.
At least three other big deals will take place on Derby Day.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will host “Rock the Race” at Passion Nightclub to benefit the Ann Storck Center. There will be mint juleps, hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and a large, high-definition TV screen showing the race.
It will start at 4 p.m., and cost $50. Contact Jennifer Homan 954-584-8000, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Annstorckcenter.org/derby.
Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino has “Mint Juleps and Margaritas” in the Silks Simulcast area and the Breezeway Bar. The drinks will cost $5 each.
At 4:30 p.m., 10 names will be selected to win $300 each to bet on the races. Admission is free if patrons sign up for Gulfstream's player's club.
A Derby hat contest will begin at 3 p.m., and will award a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes and a bottle of Dom Perignon.
The Palm Beach Kennel Club will have a trackside barbecue, a “best hat” contest after the second dog race (check in by 12:45 p.m.), bluegrass music by the Short Straw Pickers and pet adoption representatives on site.
Mint juleps will cost $4 ($5 with a souvenir glass), and the kennel club will hold drawings for cash prizes and restaurant gift certificates.