The Kentucky Derby is described as the most exciting two minutes in sports. But as exciting as it may be, not everybody is willing to make the drive to Louisville for a two-minute race. If you're looking for a place to watch the race in St. Louis -- maybe drink a few Mint Juleps or sport that funny hat you have sitting in your closet -- you can't go wrong with these Kentucky Derby-friendly locations. While three spots are in Illinois, they're close enough to count.
Post time for the race is at 5:04 p.m. Saturday.Fairmount Park Racetrack
9301 Collinsville Road
Collinsville, Illinois(618) 345-4300
As the area's only horse track, this is the most logical destination for the Derby. Fairmount will open its doors early, at 8:30 a.m., and races starting at noon. General admission is $2.50. The Kentucky Derby will be simulcast around the racetrack.
3132 South Kingshighway Boulevard(314) 772-3600
The Royale is serious about its Derby party: This means formal dress is
required and hats are strongly encouraged. There is a $5 cover, and as of
3 p.m. on Friday about 200 tickets were already sold, says an employee. It'll be bustling.
There will also be a "best hat" contest for men and women. Music will
be provided by Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three. The party kicks
of at 2 p.m.The Stable
1821 Cherokee Street
Stable hosts its second-annual Kentucky Derby watch party at 2 p.m.
There will be Mint Julep specials, a hat contest, and a crowd is expected.
There is no cover charge or dress code, so The Stable makes for a more casual
alternative to The Royale.Ardie and Tiny's
100 Joe Street
Located right across the street from Fairmount Park, this little bar won the RFT
's "Best Place To Drown Your Sorrows"
category in 2003.
As a favorite hangout spot for frustrated gamblers and horse track
employees, expect this place this be a little more rowdy than the
others on the list. No dress code here, and fancy-schmancy derby hats will likely not be
prominent either. But the place should get packed and beers are just
$2. If you lose your shirt on a horse, shots of schnapps are a $1, says Jan Ligibel, a bartender we called.Route 3 OTB
2400 Mississippi Avenue
If you're just a die-hard gambler who could care less about fancy
hats or Mint Juleps, this might be the perfect place for you. Walk in,
make a bet and pray your horse takes the title.