Mint Julep, Anyone?

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Springen

To watch the "greatest two minutes in sports"--the Kentucky Derby--you can mix yourself a mint julep and turn on the tube. Or you could head to Churchill Downs for the 133rd Run for the Roses, which is held on the first Saturday in May. You're already too late to snag one of the 55,000 seats. (Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, are among those who have already secured spots.)

But if you've got $40 and love a good party, you can get tickets on race day that will allow you and about 100,000 other Derby Day fans--some more sober than others--access to the infield. Bring a crazy hat and be at the gates before they open at 8 a.m.; the first race is at 11. Go to for more. Consider arriving on the Thursday before the Derby to watch the free Dawn at the Downs workouts from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Or attend the fillies-only races at Kentucky Oaks on Friday, where admission is $25. Think about staying out of town or camping in an RV at the Kentucky fairgrounds for a real local scene. Rich Carman of Chicago always rents a Winnebago with his friends. Bring binoculars to see this year's favorite horses, such as Street Sense and Hard Spun, or check out celebs along Millionaires Row. …