10th Annual Jocktails at the Derby

As told by Joey Wagner, owner of J Wagner Group

Photos by Zymage

How Jocktails Has Evolved

When I created the Jocktails concept 10 years ago, I never thought it would get this big or that it would turn into the hardest ticket to get during Derby week. I think it’s such a great concept because it’s just a fun event and people love it. Seeing all of the Derby jockeys that you watch at the track make your cocktails is pretty cool. You get to interact with these guys on a more personal basis than you would if you were just betting on them or watching them. We started small, and now it’s one of the biggest events we produce every year. It’s been exciting to see how much it has grown over the past 10 years.

What to Expect This Year

As always, we will have the Kentucky Derby jockeys bartending for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). The legendary Phil Kelly and DJ K-Dogg will provide the night’s entertainment. Beam Suntory, Kendall Jackson, Coca-Cola and Red Bull will be providing the cocktails. The event will take place at Ice House, which is one my favorite venues in the city, and their catering company, Crushed Ice Catering, will be providing food. However, with this being our 10th anniversary, there are a few surprises in store that we’ll keep quiet for now!

Jocktails is an INVITATION ONLY event. The private event is 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. However, we open to the public at 10 p.m.

How it Helps

We donate 100% of the tips from the event to the PDJF. Working with them and their executive director, Nancy Lasala, for the past 10 years has been awesome. To know that an event I created has been able to help so many injured riders means so much to me. Sometimes these riders don’t have the money they need to pay their medical bills, so Jocktails has helped with that. We have made a big difference in their lives.

Who Makes It Possible

This event wouldn’t be possible and it wouldn’t be as big as it is without our many amazing sponsors. With this year being our 10th annual event, we have the most sponsors we’ve ever had. A big thank you to Beam Suntory and Maker’s Mark – our presenting sponsor. Also, thanks to Churchill Downs Inc., TwinSpires, Breeders’ Cup, Equestricon, Diversified Consultants Inc., NuVasive, Personal Fitness & Rehabilitation, Next Retirement Solutions, Meticulous, Coca-Cola, Kendall Jackson Wines and Red Bull for supporting Jocktails. VT


7 p.m. May 2

The Ice House, Downtown


By the Numbers: 

Over $100,000 donated to the PDJF over the past 10 years

First year attendance: 200

Current attendance: 800

More info: www.PDFJ.org

Jockeys Who Have Participated:

Victor Espinoza

Gary Stevens

Mike Smith

John Velazquez

Laffit Pincay

Jean Cruguet

Kent Desormeaux

Julien Leparoux

Robby Albarado

Corey Lanerie

Brian Hernandez