Kentucky Derby Celebrations in Phoenix and Scottsdale 2017

Don a Fancy Hat, Drink a Mint Julep

Kentucky Derby at Turf Paradise
Courtesy Turf Paradise

Every year the population of Louisville, Kentucky swells when the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival takes place each spring, culminating in the "Run for the Roses" on the first Saturday in May.

If you can't get to Churchill Downs for the big event, you can watch it on television or download an app to watch it on your tablet or smartphone. Honestly, though, does that seem right? Not to me. Why not get dressed up, put on your fanciest hat (for women) and your seersucker suit (for men) and attend a Kentucky Derby event right here in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area?

The date for the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 6, 2017. The race itself is scheduled to take place at 3:34 p.m. Arizona time.

The Kentucky Derby, Arizona Style

Turf Paradise
Join the Kentucky Derby Party on May 6, 2017, at Turf Paradise in North Phoenix. In addition to live local horse racing and the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby, there is live music, a kids' fun park, and free commemorative Derby glasses to the first 5,000 paid admissions. With Mint Juleps and big hats, the Turf Paradise Kentucky Derby Party is the only place in Arizona where you can watch and wager on the Derby while enjoying local, live horse racing at the same time. 

Thousands of fans are expected to attend at Turf. A Kentucky Derby party wouldn't be complete without an over-the-top hat contest. Grandstand Admission is $5. For those wanting to kick it up a notch, there are all-day buffets in the air-conditioned comfort of Turf's Directors' Suite, Turf Club, and Club House. Prices start at $55 per person. Gates open at 7:15 a.m. Live races start at 11:30 a.m. and they continue until about 5 p.m. Grandstand seating is first come first served. More about Turf Paradise.

Opens at 10:30 a.m. at Turf Paradise. The Kentucky Derby itself will be broadcast live at the track and in the DayClub at 3:24 p.m. General Admission DayClub tickets start at $25, or reserve your spot inside the Sanderson Lincoln Black Label VIP Lounge, $100 in advance or $110 at the door, which includes complimentary food and cocktails. Individual reserved seats are available for an additional $25/seat. Or, sit track-side inside the air-conditioned Stella Artois Derby DayClub where you can watch all the finish line action, track-side betting terminals, and a no-host bar including Mint Juleps, beer, wine and cocktails, DJ and 65” TVs to watch the Kentucky Derby.

Both ticketing options also provide access to the Hefeweizen Beer Garden. Finally, you might want to experience the event with a reserved table, including 8 tickets and a complimentary bottle of Chandon champagne. Sanderson Lincoln Black Label VIP Lounge tables are $1,100 (first-row), $1,000 (second-row) and $900 (third-row). DayClub tables are $500 (first-row), $400 (second-row) and $300 (third-row). 

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
On Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. the Scottsdale Princess will host the annual Kentucky Derby Party. Don your fanciest hats, sharpest suits and, of course, finest dancing shoes. The year's biggest "see and be seen" is at Bourbon Steak. Experience the “fastest two minutes in sports” and watch your favorite silks during the 143rd Run for the Roses on Bourbon Steak’s plasma screens both indoors and out. $109  + tax and service charge per person includes a  classic lunch menu infused with Southern flair by Chef Jeremy McMillan, featuring Kentucky Derby hot browns, Benedictine dip, pickled shrimp toasts, sweet tea brined fried chicken, Derby and Chess pie, and red velvet cupcakes.

Live music, Bulleit bourbon tastings, a photo booth, lawn games, prizes for both men and women in a Derby hat and fashion contest. Reservations suggested, 480-585-2694.

Padre Murphy’s
On Saturday, May 6, 2017, valley residents, off-track betters and Derby Day fashionistas interested in taking part in equestrian history will celebrate the 143rd Kentucky Derby at Padre Murphy’s in Glendale. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Beginning with breakfast (served until 11:30 a.m.), the festivities include a variety of drink specials (think mint juleps and mimosas), off-track betting, a live telecast of the Kentucky Derby (airing from 11:30 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. MST) on 90+ TVs and a Derby Day hat contest at 2 p.m. The winner will receive a $100 happy hour at Padre Murphy’s, second place will receive a $50 gift card to Gaston Jewelry, and third place will receive a dozen red roses.

On Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. walk the red carpet, get your photo taken in your best hat, and watch your favorite horse run for the roses. Sponsored by Tito's and D Betty Vodka, there will be a palm reader, caricature artist, best hat contest, auction and more. Ticket prices include access to the private event and food buffet. Proceeds support ActivStars, a nonprofit that helps children participate in extracurricular fitness programs. $75 in advance and $90 at the door.

Second Story Liquor Bar 
Come to Scottsdale for the annual Kentucky Derby Celebration: Bourbon & Bubbles on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from noon until the race ends. Enjoy an upscale Kentucky Derby party for only 44 people hosted in a speakeasy chic lounge. All tickets include welcome cocktail, passed and shared derby inspired appetizers. Mint Juleps & classic pendennis club cocktails will be served in fashion. $50 GA Patio includes food and one welcome cocktail, seating is first come first serve, inside seating not guaranteed.

 $100 VIP includes food, bottomless juleps and pendennis club cocktail, and all food and private table. Drinks may not be shared. Inside seating guaranteed. 21+ only. Advance registration required, call 480-945-5555.

All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.