Derby Doings Outside Kentucky

Sportsman's Park is offering two great ways to enjoy America's most famous horse race. The track is holding a Derby Gala fundraiser at $50 a ticket and is also presenting a handicapping luncheon at $15 per person. Sportsman's Park, area mayors and legislators, and West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA) are teaming up to raise funds for people with disabilities in WSRRA recreation programs with the Derby Gala. Tickets include the buffet and open bar. A hat contest and best tie competition will add to the festive celebration. Call WSSRA at (847) 455-2100 to reserve a ticket or to donate an auction item. For $15, the Handicapping Lunch includes clubhouse admission, program, lunch and a $5 share in a handicapping pool managed by Dave "The Thoroughbred Maven" Gutfreund. In a previous Handicapping Lunch, the $5 investment was turned into $12 meaning that the entire day cost patrons only $3. Post time at Sportsman's Park on Kentucky Derby day will be at noon. There will be a 13-race card consisting of 12 live races plus separate pool wagering on The Derby. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to "shop odds" and bet into either the separate Illinois pool or the Churchill Downs pool. Advance wagering on The Derby will be offered beginning Friday into the Churchill Downs pool only. On Saturday, fans will have their choice of pools...Calder Race Course is planning the "Biggest Kentucky Derby Party in Florida" on Saturday, when racing fans can indulge in Derby festivities right in their own backyard. Mint Juleps, Burgoo, and Kentucky Derby Pie will be the order of the day, and fans can enter a contest to win a trip to New York for the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown. The first 5,000 ladies through the gates will each receive a free rose, too. Kids can enjoy Family Day activities in Calder's Picnic Grove, visit with Thunder and Lightning, Calder's official miniature horse mascots, and sign up for the track's Junior Jockey Club. Fans can place their Kentucky Derby bets as early as this Friday, May 3 as Calder offers advance wagering. Calder will also hold a Kentucky Derby Handicapping Seminar on Friday at 4:30 p.m. On Derby Day itself, fans can wager on the entire program from Churchill Downs as well as 12 live races at Calder, in addition to races from other tracks around the country. Calder's gates open at 11:00 a.m. and the first live race is at 12:25 p.m. Adult admission prices are $2 grandstand and $4 clubhouse. Children 17 and under are always admitted free when accompanied by an adult...Sam Houston Race Park will simulcast the 128th Kentucky Derby and offer Houston sports fans an exciting opportunity to earn $1,000,000. Sam Houston Race Park will host the second annual Kentucky Derby $1,000,000 Challenge. The $1,000,000 Challenge is open to all patrons, 21 years of age and older, with no entry fee required. Each contestant will be asked to select the entire order of finish for the 128th Kentucky Derby. If a contestant successfully places all of the Derby contenders in the exact order of finish, he or she will walk away with $1,000,000. The track will open at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. A free Derby handicapping seminar hosted by Sam Houston Race Park handicappers Martha Claussen and Michael Chamberlain will take place at 3:30 p.m. on the Club level stage...Thistledown will offer advance wagering on the Kentucky Derby starting Friday at 11 a.m. The track opens early on Friday and Saturday for the Oaks and Derby programs. They will also offer a $1,000 Derby Pick 'Em contest. Kids under 12 are free, and events for the whole family include face painting, free pony rides, and more. Saturday's events begin at noon...The Woodlands will open at 9:30 a.m. (CST) for its Derby Day simulcast. Advance wagering will be available starting on Friday.

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