How to do Derby at Home

Photo by Clay Cook.

Even though Derby 146 has been rescheduled from May 2, 2020 to September 5, 2020, you can still celebrate the traditional first Saturday in May in the comfort of your home. Thanks to Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby Museum, Finlandia Vodka, Old Forester Bourbon and Woodford Reserve Bourbon, we’ve compiled everything you’ll need to turn your home into the perfect Derby themed weekend. 

Tune In
On Saturday, May 2, from 3 to 6 p.m. EST, NBC will broadcast the 2015 Kentucky Derby that began the legendary American Pharoah’s historic Triple Crown run. 

2015 Kentucky Derby winner American Pharaoh. Photo by The Voice-Tribune.

Additionally, the NBC broadcast will include Churchill Downs’ first ever virtual horse race—The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown. The race will be a computer-simulated version of a race under the historic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. The virtual race, created by Inspired Entertainment, will feature the 13 past Triple Crown winners and use data algorithms about each horse, including historical handicapping information, to help to determine the probability of their potential finishing positions. Beginning on April 30, fans can visit www.KentuckyDerby.com to choose their favorite horse to win the virtual race. All participants who select the winning horse will be entered to win the ultimate Kentucky Derby 146 VIP Experience.

Give Back
In addition to the thrill of picking the winning horse, Churchill Downs is hoping to raise $2 million for COVID-19 emergency relief efforts via donations from fans who visit the site to choose a winner. Churchill Downs has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations with funds to be directed to the Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief. A small percentage will also go to R.E.I.N. Fund (Relief for Equine Industry Needs), a program managed by Churchill Downs Foundation designed to benefit workers of the backside whose livelihood has been impacted by COVID-19 and also to help ensure essential care for horses throughout the pandemic.

Celebrate Tradition
It wouldn’t be the full Kentucky Derby experience without the official Kentucky Derby cocktails. Thanks to our friends at Brown-Forman, we’ve gathered the essential, easy to make at home Derby cocktail recipes here to keep the tradition alive. So grab your Derby glasses and give it a go!

Finlandia Oaks Lily

Photo courtesy of Finlandia Vodka.


  • 1 part Finlandia Vodka, the official Vodka of the Kentucky Derby
  • 1 part sweet & sour mix
  • ¼ part triple sec
  • 3 parts cranberry juice

Step One
Mix ingredients.
Step Two
Pour over crushed ice.
Step Three
Garnish with a blackberry and a lemon wedge.

Old Forester Mint Julep

Photo courtesy of Old Forester Bourbon.


  • 2 oz. Old Forester 86 Proof
  • 0.75 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 3 mint sprigs for garnish

Pack mint julep cup with crushed ice. In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, syrup, and mint leaves. Lightly bruise mint leaves with a muddler, strain contents into julep cup. Garnish with 3 generous sprigs of mint.

*Make sure to slap mint. Make sure to insert a straw into the ice near mint.

Woodford Reserve Spire

Photo courtesy of Woodford Reserve.


  • 1.5 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon®
  • 2 oz. Lemonade
  • 1 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • Lemon Twist

Serve over ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

Get Crafty
When visiting www.KentuckyDerby.com, Derby fans can also find a full listing of Derby related activities designed to encourage the perfect interactive Kentucky Derby party at home. Churchill Downs will join the Kentucky Derby Museum and other partners to offer virtual tours, Derby cocktail and fascinator-making instructions, ideas for party decorations, kids’ crafts, Derby-inspired recipes, an at-home Derby fashion contest and much more.

Photo courtesy of Tiffany Woodard.

Join the virtual party by posting your home Derby Party experience using #KyDerbyAtHome on Saturday, May 2 and follow @KentuckyDerby on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on the first Saturday in May to engage with a full day of exciting content and other at-home Derby parties from across the country. Visit www.KentuckyDerbyParty.com regularly for an updated schedule of activities, recipes, ingredient lists, style tips and decorating ideas to recreate the ultimate at home Derby experience. V