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Headed To The Kentucky Derby? 9 Things You Must Know

The Kentucky Derby ranks as one of the most popular private jet destinations in the world every year. Stars come from far and wide to flaunt their Sunday best as they touch down in Louisville in style. There is much to be seen and many things to know if you’re planning a trip to The Derby. As one of the industries most experienced travel providers to the Kentucky Derby, Magellan Jets gives you nine things you need to know for your trip to Churchill Downs.

1. Proper Dress Is A Must
For some guests, the Kentucky Derby is much more of a fashion show than a sporting event. Although there is not a set criteria for what to wear, attendees know not to come unless they are dressed to impress in the most vibrant spring fashions. Here’s what to know for both men and women on Derby Week:
Women: The focus for women should be on the hat first and let everything else come second. There are no restrictions on how extravagent the hat should be. In fact, if you think your hat is big, you should go bigger. Dresses tend to be simpler spring colors to keep all the attention above the head.
Men: Men are expected to be just as dashing as the ladies who attend the event. Pants are where men catch the eye at the Derby. Bright, sun-drenched colored pants are sported all over the track with striped and checkered shirts. Try to top off your outfit with a 3-button sportcoat to keep it classy at the big event.

2. Who to pick?
The total amount of money from bets placed has hovered around an astounding $125 million the past couple years and is expected to hit that again in 2016, if not higher. The odds have Nyquist (3-1) as the clear favorite, which is no surprise for the undefeated champion. Exxagerator (6-1) and Gun Runner (8-1) round out the top 3, but don’t be surprised if our sleeper SuddenBreakingNews (15-1) steps in the winners circle at The Derby.

3. The Mint Julep
The official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby will be what everyone is sipping on race day. Although it looks sweet, the drink consists of a surprisingly strong mix of bourbon, sugar, mint, and crushed or shaved ice. While It’s certainly necessary to experience the famous Mint Julep, try to limit yourself to one or two as these sweet drinks will creep up on you in the hot sun.

4. The Kentucky Oaks
Traditionally held on the day before the Kentucky Derby each year, The Kentucky Oaks is meant to celebrate fundraising for critical women’s health issues. The 100,000 fans who attend are asked to use pink in their outfit and the racetrack is covered in pink decorations. The efforts help raise awareness in the fight against breast and ovarian cancer.

5. The Run For The Roses
Churchill Downs’ President Colonel Lewis Clark made the rose the official flower of the Kentucky Derby over 100 years ago resulting in the nickname “The Run For the Roses”. The winner of the Derby receives a blanket of 554 roses consisting of a modern garland with a single upturned rose on top. This will mark the 20th straight year the garland will be freeze-dried for “posterity”.

6. Learn What a Furlong Is
If you are going to the most prestigous horse race on the planet, then you should know the term used to refer to measurements in horse racing. Yes, the Derby is 1.25 miles long, but on race day the track will rarely be referred to in mile increments. Instead, fans will reference a Furlong, which is a unit of measurement equivalent to 1/8 of a mile and most commonly used in horse racing.

7. Bring Cash
Cash rules everything at the Kentucky Derby. Parking requires cash, but more importantly, purchasing drinks and placing bets require cash. ATM lines normally stretch longer than the line for the bathroom and no one wants to waste their day at Churchill Downs in line getting cash while everyone else is out having fun.

8. Make Your Bets Early
The first thing you should do when arriving at the track is place your bet. Betting is part of what makes the race so exciting. However, fans will spend all day overanalyzing the race worrying about insider tips only to pick a horse they never thought was going to win in the first place. Make your bet first thing and go enjoy some Mint Julep’s. It’s a long day and you don’t want to forget to place a bet!

9. Keep An Eye Out For The Stars
In 2015, Brady, Gronk, and the boys stole the show with their outlandish outfits. Celebrities flood Churchill Downs each year in some ridiculous get-ups and place bets that are hard to believe. Don’t be surprised if you see your favorite star walking around Louisville.

The Kentucky Derby is much more than just a horse race. It’s a memory from the time your trip begins to when your plane touches down at your home airport. Travel in style for the full experience and explore Magellan Jets membership and charter options to get you there.


Magellan Jets is the leader in domestic and international private jet travel offering private and corporate travel memberships and charter flights. With a global network of thousands of pre-qualified aircraft, Magellan Jets is committed to the highest safety standards, personalized experiences and top level customer service.

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