It’s Derby time! The 149th annual Kentucky Derby runs this weekend on Saturday, May 6.
While the Derby itself is only one race, Churchill Downs hosts races throughout the day. Derby Day festivities are an all-day affair.
You don’t even have to be a big horse racing fan to have fun at a Derby watch party. The Derby represents the start of spring and an excuse to get creative with your outfit, decorate your derby hat and sip Mint Juleps with friends.
There are also plenty of options for betting on horse racing in Ohio. Whether you’ll be watching from home or hitting the town for a watch party, there are many options for betting on the Kentucky Derby or simply enjoying the pomp and circumstance of the Run for the Roses.
Here are some of the best places to watch and bet on the Kentucky Derby in Ohio.
Watch live from home
NBC will air the Kentucky Derby, along with pre-race analysis and other coverage starting at noon on May 6. Coverage will run all day until 7:30 p.m., on the NBC Sports app, Peacock and NBCSports.com.
NBC will also air another Triple Crown race, the Preakness Stakes, and the Breeder’s Cup. The Kentucky Oaks takes place the day before the Derby and will also air on NBC.
Kentucky Derby watch parties in Ohio
Ohio’s own race courses/racinos are a good bet for catching the Derby and offer convenient in-person simulcast betting on the race. Early betting begins on Thursday at Ohio’s racinos.
But watch parties are plentiful. Here are some options across the state.
Cleveland Derby watch parties
In the greater Cleveland area, JACK Thistledown is hosting a watch party. Don’t phone-in your head wear this year, because the party includes a Kentucky Derby Hat Contest. Register your hat between 1-5 p.m. Hat contest winners will be announced at 6 p.m.
Pioneer Cleveland’s Talk Derby to Me event promises big hats, bow ties and bourbon. A reservation to this watch party includes:
- Best hat & best dressed contests
- Mint juleps and Derby cuisine
- Games, prizes, and giveaways
- DJs and a live band
Reservations can be made at www.pioneercleveland.com. Open seating will be available on the patio.
Dayton Derby events
You’ve heard of the Puppy Bowl, but Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway will have Derby dogs this year at their watch party. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is hosting a Puppies and Pints adoption event on the Sunset Patio from noon-3 p.m.
To watch and wager on the derby, reserve a seat with exclusive access to the Skybox Sports Bar and Grill. Seats start at $10, and space is limited. Call 937-235-7593 to reserve.
Miami Valley Gaming is offering food and drink specials throughout the day, and special packages are available to make the day extra special. Call for more information: 513-934-7070.
Belterra Park running in Cincinnati on Derby day
Belterra Park is hosting live races on Saturday during a day filled with special promotions and Derby festivities. Live racing starts with an 11:25 a.m. post time.
In addition, Boyd Gaming is giving away $10,000 in Boyd Play, plus hundreds in Tier Credits for Boyd Rewards members. To enter to win one of 10 $1,000 drawings, drop your voucher in the box of the horse you think will win.
One of Cincinnati’s biggest Derby parties happens at Fueled Collective in Oakley. Enjoy the Derby experience via 10-plus TVs, or on the 300-inch drop down screen with theater seating. Live music starts in the Drawing Room at 3 p.m. featuring Soul Pocket.
Food will be catered throughout the afternoon, and two open bars will serve beer, wine, mixed drinks and of course mint juleps. General admission tickets are available, along with private seating areas that accommodate 4-10. Ticket prices range from $75 to $125.
Columbus events at Scioto Downs, Columbus Derby Day
Another Fancy Hat contest, tours of the new Grandstand and food & drink specials will make Derby Day at Eldorado Scioto Downs one to remember. Call 614-295-4756 for tickets to the exclusive Derby party.
Tickets are still available for the 7th Annual Columbus Derby Day at Ohio Stadium Loge Club, which benefits the Five Strong Foundation.
Guest are encouraged to wear festive colors and over-the-top hats to this soiree, which features hors d’oeuvres, a premium open bar and more. Live music will be provided by Lieutenant Dan’s New Legs. The fun starts at 3 p.m. and goes until 8 p.m..
The Five Strong Foundation is a nonprofit that supports individuals with developmental disabilities through athletics, camaraderie and inclusion.
Tickets are $150/person.
Ohio sportsbooks will be busy on Derby Day
Retail sportsbooks in Ohio are sure to be bustling for the Kentucky Derby. All of 11 Ohio’s casinos and racinos have partnered with sportsbooks on these new retail spaces. Most of Ohio’s professional sports franchises have done the same.
Here is the full list of approved sportsbooks in Ohio, and the vast majority have already opened their doors. Be sure to check with each business to confirm hours, specials and any Derby Day events.
|JACK Cleveland Casino||BetJACK||Cuyahoga|
|JACK Thistledown Racino||BetJACK||Cuyahoga|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||Fanatics||Franklin|
|Hollywood Casino Columbus||Barstool||Franklin|
|Scioto Downs Racino||Caesars||Franklin|
|Muirfield Village Golf Club||NA||Franklin|
|Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati||Hard Rock||Hamilton|
|Belterra Park Racino||FanDuel||Hamilton|
|SPIRE Institute||Out the Gate||Ashtabula
|Hollywood Casino Toledo||Barstool||Lucas
|Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley||Barstool||Mahoning
|Hollywood Dayton Gaming Raceway||Barstool||Montgomery
|Hall of Fame Village||BetRivers||Stark
|MGM Northfield Park Racino||BetMGM||Summit
|Miami Valley Gaming||MVGBet||Warren|