Gun Runner. Mor Spirit. Mohaymen. Nyquist. Names not to be taken lightly. They are the contenders for the Kentucky Derby, which is now in its 142nd year. The oddsmakers think Nyquist is a safe bet. But you don’t have to be at Churchill Downs to get swept up in the fervor, big hats and seersucker suits. We’ve made it easy for you to find and watch the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” around town.
Recently opened Montecristo Cigar Bar in Caesars Palace kicks-off its Derby Day celebration May 6-7. Alongside bourbon and cigar pairings is the Derby VIP registration package, which secures a prime spot for viewing the race with complimentary drinks including Woodford Reserve Mint Juleps. Don’t worry if you don’t have a hat or a bowtie, as these will be included in the party favors. In Caesars Palace.
If you want a more laid-back approach to the Derby, linger around Caesars Palace for enticing wine, Champagne and mint julep cocktail specials at the Race & Sports Book Bar, Seahorse Lounge, Lobby Bar and Spanish Steps.
For a little off-Strip action, head to Crazy Horse III for a viewing party with a live show. Awarded “Best Bachelor Party” in 2015, Crazy Horse III is known for its female entertainers as well as the after-race party. Book through its mobile app to secure complimentary limo services when available. 3525 W. Russell Rd., CrazyHorse3.com.
South Point hosts two events, including a Kentucky Derby handicapping seminar from 6-7 p.m. on May 6. Race enthusiasts will get a preview of the entries while handicappers Patrick McQuiggan and Toby Turrell lead the discussion to help novices get a thorough breakdown of the competing horses’ racing history. At the Kentucky Derby viewing party at 9 a.m. May 7, guests can enjoy food specials and free drinks with bets at designated wagering stations. SouthPointCasino.com.
Beginning at noon, Bound Bar by Salvatore Calabrese will host the Ultimate Derby Party. In addition to Bound’s award-winning cocktail menu, enjoy buy-one, get-one-free mint juleps for $14. In the Cromwell, Caesars.com/Cromwell.
One way to celebrate the transition to warm weather is sipping on a Kentucky Mule in a chilled, copper mug with a sprig of mint. La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway makes theirs with Eagle Rare Bourbon for $15. Food pairings include grilled American wagyu skirt steak with truffle gremolata. In Wynn, 702-770-7375, LaCaveLV.com.
Beer Park lets you view the Derby on its rooftop terrace. Try a traditional Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich in honor of the Derby. Guests in traditional Derby Day attire will be rewarded with a complimentary glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne. In Paris Las Vegas, BeerPark.com.
It simply wouldn’t be Derby Day without pastel suits and big hats. This Southern tradition demands Southern culinary flair to really celebrate the equine character and history of the Kentucky Derby. Take those outfits out for a spin at Lagasse’s Stadium, which offers 100 screens for watching the race. In the Venetian, EmerilsRestaurants.com/Lagasses-Stadium.
El Cortez pumps it up with old-school-Las-Vegas-meets-Kentucky-style betting from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with $5 traditional mint juleps and free admission to the viewing party in the Fiesta Room. ElCortezHotelCasino.com.