Derby Training Camp at Churchill Downs

Horse Racing 101: "Hats, Bets & Juleps"

May-June or Oct-Nov . . . 3 Days

Starting At $Custom
Derby Training Camp is a tour where you learn about Kentucky Derby traditions and history. It's a full day at Churchill Downs attending one of the Spring or Fall Races. It's like Derby Prep School: you learn how to Place Bets and make Mint Juleps, everything you need to know before you come back for the real Derby . . . and both the crowds and prices are much more manageable. It's all about The Derby.

Derby Training Camp at Churchill Downs

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Tour Highlights: 

  • A Day of Racing at Churchill Downs
  • Reserved Seats in Millionaire’s Row
  • Mint Julep Lesson
  • “Horse Talk” – Betting Class
  • “Hatitude” – Hat Making Class
  • Racing Program
  • Ten Free $2.00 Bets
  • Kentucky Derby Museum admission
  • Visit the Hermitage Thoroughbred Nursery
Tour Includes: 

  • Two Nights Deluxe Lodging
  • Two Hotel Breakfasts
  • One Lunch
  • One Dinner
  • Luggage Handling
  • All Taxes & Tips on these services
  • One Free With Every 16 Paid


Prices and Racing Season

. . . Per Person Prices  vary based on hotel rate

.Spring Racing Season in 2018 is

April 28- June 30. Thurs Evenings and Fri, Sat and Sun Matinees

Fall Racing Season in 2018 is:

Sept 14- Sept 30.  Thurs Evenings and Fri, Sat and Sun Matinees 

Oct 28-Nov 25  Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun Matinees

(Schedules subject to change)

Motorcoach Transportation and Professional Tour Managers are available.

Day 1 -Arrive Louisville

First stop today is a visit to the Hermitage Thoroughbred Nursery.  Hermitage Farms is a world-class equine operation where champion thoroughbreds are born and nursed. Last January the broodmares here gave birth to 40 foals. You will see next year’s babies at the age of 4 or 5 months. These soon to be racehorses will just be learning to run.  Your guides will talk about them and about the Farm’s past babies that grew into champions including winners of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Breeders’ Cup and more than 200 other stakes races.

Then you will arrive at a first class Louisville Hotel.  This will serve as your camp as you learn about about the Kentucky Derby and having a great time.

This evening you enjoy dinner at the New Evan Williams Bourbon Experience  on Whiskey Row.  You will learn how Bourbon is made, enjoy a nice dinner, and get a lesson on how to make your own Mint Juleps (includes a sample).   Mint Juleps are the quintessential Kentucky Derby Drink and it is important to the educational mission of this camp that you know how to make one. (D)

Day 2 – Derby Training Camp

You start today at the Kentucky Derby Museum located at Churchill Downs, here they celebrate the tradition, history, hospitality and pride of the world-renown event that is the Kentucky Derby. Here is your education takes on a serious “Hatitude,” with a class on how to make your own Derby Hat.  You will discover that The Kentucky Derby is as much about watching people as it horses, every woman accessorizes with stylish hats.  You will also enjoy a seminar titled “Horse Talk,” where you will learn the secrets of picking a winner, including tricks like reading a horse’s eyes, ears and tails.

Once school’s out at the Museum, it’s off to the races in Millionaire’s Row.  During the Derby these seats are reserved for the world’s most renowned racing enthusiasts.  Dining room service here comes with scenic vantage points from a tiered balcony overlooking the finish line.  You can also watch the races from television monitors overhead.  A special note: to take the anxiety out of learning every person in your group will receive Ten (10) Free $2.00 Bets.  At Derby Camp you don’t have to lose your own money. (B,L)

Day 3 – Departure

Depart for home after breakfast.  Groups that want to add another day will find great attractions such as The Louisville Slugger Factory, Muhammad Ali Museum, the Urban Bourbon Trail, Belle of Louisville Steamboat and much more.   (B)

Center map