Arts + Culture

The Checklist: Sporting Events

by Josh Dean

KENTUCKY DERBY

Where: Louisville, Kentucky

Play along: Some things never go out of style. At the Derby, those things include seersucker suits and the most elaborate flowery hats the world has ever seen. More importantly, though, the "Run for the Roses" has been held for 134 years, making it the South's oldest organized sporting event. The most famous names are of horses, not men, and the sense of drama is as pure as ever (remember the hand-wringing over Barbaro's leg?). Up in the grandstand, Millionaire's Row teems with celebrities who might range from Jessica Simpson to the Queen of England, while the rest of the Kentucky elite sip mint juleps. It's not all a picture of propriety, though: The infield looks more like Mardi Gras, with thousands of spectators juiced-up on contraband booze (creative liquor smuggling being the other traditional sport at the Derby), waving their betting slips as the horses thunder by.

How to score tickets: The best seats go to members of the Twin Spires Club who are here year after year. Nonetheless, ticket brokers can always get prime spots, and general admission seats are $40 and available at the gate. They'll get you standing room or access to the infield.

When: Always the first Saturday in May.

For more information: www.kentuckyderby.com

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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