Grab your Derby hats, the 148th Kentucky Derby is finally here!
Thousands from across the world will soon make the journey to Louisville to witness "the fastest two minutes in sports."
When is the Kentucky Derby?:
The Kentucky Derby happens every year on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. This year that day falls on May 7.
There are 14 races total, so click here for the full 2022 Derby Day schedule. However, Race 12, or the "Run for the Roses," will start around 6:57 p.m.
Admission gates open at 9 a.m. and ticket holders must present their ticket for scanning at the admission gate.
NOTE: Once you're in Churchill Downs, re-entry is not permitted.
How do I purchase tickets for Derby?:
There are various ticket packages you can purchase for the Derby, some include reserved seating with concessions included while other packages may offer access to special experiences or areas of Churchill Downs.
If you'd like, you can purchase reserved seating by itself, but those tickets can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
For general admission in the infield, tickets cost $80 for a single day or $135 for both Oaks and Derby.
Where do I park?:
For those looking to attend Derby, this is one of the biggest questions and a potential headache you may face.
All on-site parking for Oaks and Derby is pre-sold. Traffic will be restricted along Central Avenue from Taylor Boulevard to Floyd Street starting around 7:30 a.m.
To purchases on-site parking passes, call (502) 636-4450 while supplies last. But even if on-site parking is sold out there are other ways to get to the Derby.
One of the most common ways to park close to Churchill is by looking for neighborhood parking. Some residents who live close to the racetrack may let you park in their yard or lots for a small fee.
There are also public transportation options via the TARC or rideshare apps. For more information on parking and how to get to Churchill, visit this website.
Louisville Metro Police have also announced what streets will be closed for Derby and where no parking zones will be located.
Post positions for the 148th Kentucky Derby were announced May 2.
Here are the 20 horses racing in this year's Derby:
- Mo Donegal
- Happy Jack
- Summer is Tomorrow
- Smile Happy
- Crown Pride
- Charge it
- Tiz the Bomb
- Pioneer of Medina
- Barber Road
- White Abarrio
- Classic Causeway
- Tawny Port
- Rich Strike
Click here for the post positions for the 2022 Oaks Race including a full breakdown of each horse's odds, trainer and jockey.
How to place bets at the Derby:
Betting on which horse you think will win the Kentucky Derby can be a lot of fun, but all the terminology and numbers can be confusing for some.
According to Gary Roedemeier, betting depends on two things: how brave you are and your bank account.
So, if you've mustered up some courage (liquid or otherwise) and have some spare cash, here's what you need to know to place your first bet.
How to find help at Churchill Downs:
Have an emergency while at the racetrack or need help finding someone in your group? Chances are on Derby Day you won't be far from someone who can help.
Churchill Downs said there will be roughly 14,000 employees working the Derby.
Guest services representatives will wear red shirts or coats. Ushers will wear bright yellow shirts and windbreakers. There will also be a variety of uniformed security officers.
If you can't find anyone, text DERBY to 69050 and you will be placed in contact with Guest Services.
The security office, which is also where lost and found is located, can be found at the Executive Gate or by calling (502) 636-4526.
First Aid Stations
- Ground level at the Executive Office to the east of the Paddock Gate
- Ground level near the Clubhouse elevator and escalator lobby
- Fifth floor of the Jockey Club Suites between Suite 517 and Suite 518
- Infield west by the Longfield Tunnel
Prohibited items, bag policy:
The following items are just a few of what Churchill Downs says are not allowed inside the racetrack's entry gates.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Cameras with detachable lenses, or equipped with a lens 6" or larger
- Canopies and tents
- Fireworks, noise makers, air horns, laser lights/pointers, mace or pepper spray
- Illegal substances
- Portable speakers
- Pets, with the exception of trained service animals
- Weapons (guns, all sized knives, cigar cutters)
If you have any of these items, you will be asked to return the item to your car before entering the racetrack. Click here for a full list of prohibited items.
Each guest is allowed one bag no larger than 12" x 6" x 12".
Tips for going to the track:
Here's some other tips to help enjoy this Kentucky tradition:
Fashion vs. Comfort
Although Derby fashion is an iconic staple of the event, remember that you'll be on your feet and walking a lot most of the day. Pack a pair of flip-flops or ultra-comfortable shoes to change into during the day if you need.
As with any outdoor event in Kentucky, weather is a wildcard. Be sure to check the WHAS11 First Alert Storm Team's forecast before heading out.
Pack plenty of sunscreen, chapstick and even a light rain poncho to go over your Derby outfit in the event of rain.
According to Churchill Downs, it's estimated that over 150,000 people attend the Kentucky Derby each year.
This makes even simple tasks, like finding your friend, much more difficult. Internet and cell overage may be spotty as well and the racetrack does not offer any public Wi-Fi on Oaks and Derby Days, so be sure to plan ahead.
And remember with that many people in one space, there is likely to be a long line for the restroom. Head for the facilities before it becomes an "emergency!"
Cash is King!
There are many ATMs scattered around Churchill Downs, but again, like the bathrooms, expect long lines. It's best to bring plenty of cash with you before you enter the racetrack to avoid the headache.
NOTE: Due to state laws, you may not place bets using a credit card.