Saturday, May 7, 2022 brought the return of the 5th Annual Bulleit Bourbon Derby DayClub at Turf Paradise, presented by Sanderson Lincoln.
This was my first time attending this event and will now be the first of many. Derby DayClub was founded by Paradise Valley’s very own Jason Rose. This was Arizona state’s only party with LIVE thoroughbred horse racing and on-site betting on the Kentucky Derby itself as well as the local races.
The Famous Hats
I was not sure what to expect the day of the race. And wouldn’t you know it, I forgot my hat – which I quickly regretted! Thankfully for me, there were vendor pop-ups and I had no issues finding myself the perfect hat.
I was blown away by the incredible hats and outfits worn by both the men and women at the event. It felt a little like going back in time, from the 1800’s to the present. I saw everything from floral prints to polka dots to peacock feathers to flowers and so much more.
Of course no Kentucky Derby event is complete without the official drink, Mint Juleps! The simple, yet classic cocktail was flowing from the bars as the perfect option to cool off in the heat. It was no surprise that there were record breaking liquor sales on this day!
Bulleit Bourbon had some fantastic pop-ups in the Ketel One Botanical Pavilion, including fun step and repeats for photo opportunities and tables with samples of your choice of a Manhattan or an old-fashioned. While the cocktails were beautiful to look at, they also tasted amazing! I am absolutely a fan now!
Other noteworthy pop-ups included the Stella Artois refurbished Air Stream and the Kettle One Botanical. There were even fresh flower installations which only added to the whole experience!
Over 1600 people that attended this year’s event – which broke all records from the previous years. Turf Paradise was flooded with everyone from socialites to cowboys! They had two DJ’s onsite playing every genre of music you could possibly imagine and while the event started in the morning it was still hopping into the early evening. Besides the on-site party, the venue offered plenty of coverage of the actual event in Kentucky with two 86” and six 70”inch TV’s.
Proceeds from this year’s Bulleit Bourbon Derby DayClub 50/50 raffle benefitted the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona. The non-profit organization is comprised of Arabian horse owners, breeders and enthusiasts from around the world who are dedicated to the promotion and breeding of Arabian horses on an international basis through breeding programs and competitions.
The Kentucky Derby Winner
Rich Strike was close to not even being able to compete on Saturday. He was only included after another horse dropped out. Rich Strike was purchased for $30,000 after the owner had lost 23 horses during a tragic fire and was certain that it might be time to give up on racing with the horrible loss. We were all thrilled to see that this wasn’t the end of the story! Congratulations to the Kentucky Derby winner with the 80-1 odds – marking the biggest underdog championship since 1913. It was definitely an awe-struck moment when guests saw the outcome!