Posted on 4 May
Now in its 143rd year, The Kentucky Derby, also known as the most exciting two minutes in sports, is upon us, with 20 horses and jockeys racing for the roses—and a $2 million cash prize—at Churchill Down. While Los Angeles may be a long way from Louisville, there are still plenty of opportunities across town to dust off your biggest hat and cheer on your favorite pony, bottomless Mint Julep in hand. Here are The Agency’s top picks for celebrating Derby Day in true SoCal style.
SIP CHAMPAGNE → The South comes to Cali for one splendid afternoon of food, drinks, and merriment at Will Rogers State Historic Park. The elegant affair will feature a premium open bar with craft cocktails courtesy of Stoli Elit, Perrier-Jouet, and Woodford Reserve and tasty bites by IDG, ROKU, and BOA while guests enjoy music, polo matches, best dressed awards, and of course, live coverage of the big race. If all the free-flowing champagne doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that a portion of your ticket benefits RideOn.org, an equine therapy charity, and CanterUSA, a local retired thoroughbred organization, certainly should. May 6, from 12 to 6pm. Tickets from $135. For more information, visit DerbyDayLA’s website.
PUT YOUR BEST HAT FORWARD → Head to Santa Monica’s famed Shutters hotel for an exclusive Derby viewing party. In partnership with G.H. Mumm, the beachy soiree will include complimentary appetizers and a champagne toast, along with signature Derby-themed cocktails, The Mumm Julep and The Winner. Guests are encouraged to wear their Derby best, as prizes will be awarded for best hat and best dressed. May 6 from 11am at Shutters.
BAR HOP BY THE SEA → Who doesn’t love a good bar hop? This Derby Day, Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica is the place to be as some of the area’s beloved hotels and eateries, including Chez Jay, O+O Sicilian Italian Kitchen
& Bar, and Shore Hotel, offer complimentary food tastings and drink specials, DJs, hat contests, and giveaways as participants sip their way up and down the block. The crawl kicks off at Del Frisco’s Grill and includes a classic Mint Julep at check-in. Tickets are $40 with sales benefiting Surfrider Foundation. For more information visit Ocean Avenue’s Day at the Races.
DON YOUR DAPPER DUDS → If you can’t make it to the South for Derby Day, the Southbay might be the next best thing. Drop by Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach for their 3rd Annual Kentucky Derby Party and enjoy classic Maker’s Mark Mint Juleps, Derby-inspired cocktails, small plates and complimentary passed hors d'oeuvres. Derby attire is encouraged, so don your most dapper duds and head to the races. From 12 to 5pm at Shade Hotel.