Kentucky Derby: Cocktail Chatter

Jeanne Sager

Flickr by Lisa Andres
Every week in cocktail chatter, we tell you what you need to know to sound like an expert at this weekend's play date, dinner party, or post office meeting.

This week's cheat sheet: The Kentucky Derby.

What it is: A horse race always held on the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby is considered the most prestigious race in the world. It's one of three races known as the Triple Crown (the other two are the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes).

Terms to know:

Churchill Downs: This Louisville, Kentucky, racetrack has played host to the derby for 136 years (although it wasn't incorporated until the 1930s).

Derby hat: Not to be confused with the old-fashioned bowler worn by men, this Derby hat is ladies only -- and it's part of the tradition.

Mint julep: A traditional drink to celebrate the race, this bourbon (a Kentucky drink!) cocktail is a must-have.

Greatest two minutes in sports: There's a week full of hoopla, but the actual Derby takes about two minutes to run.

The Contenders:

  • Lookin at Lucky
  • Paddy O'Prado
  • Devil May Care
  • Conveyance
  • Jackson Bend
  • Mission Imazible
  • Discreetly Mine
  • Awesome Act
  • Dublin
  • Backtalk
  • Homeboy Kris
  • Ice Box
  • Sidney's Candy
  • Noble's Promise
  • Super Saver
  • Line of David
  • Stately Victor
  • American Lion
  • Dean's Kitten
  • Make Music for Me

Phrases to drop:

"No female trainer has ever won the Derby, but Alexis Barba is looking good."

 "The Kentucky Derby purse is worth $2.185 million, and the winner will get $1.4 million."

"The Derby is number 11 on a 13-race card."

If you're a betting man or woman, check out TwinSpires to place your Derby Day bet -- and keep track of the winnings.

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