Horse Parties

A Day at the Races Theme Horse Racing Party

FTC Disclosure

Featured Horse Racing Theme Party >> Original Watercolour painting by NicoleBarrosArt

Mark your calendars. It is never too early to begin planning your Triple Crown horse racing theme party.

Kentucky Derby – Saturday, May 6, 2023

Kentucky Derby Official Logo 2022

Preakness Stakes – Saturday May 20, 2023

Belmont Stakes -Saturday June 10, 2023

Join the Festivities. Attend the Races! Book Your Hotel TODAY!

A Day at the Races Theme Horse Racing Party

By: Amanda

This year get your friends rallied up for race day by hosting a ‘Day at the Races’ themed horse racing party.  This post is dedicated to providing you with all the ideas, tips and supplies you will need to throw your own ‘A Day at the Races’ bash! Our friends over at PartyIdeaPros have done the research for you to find the very best invitations, party decor, entertainment, traditional recipes and more. Explore the best horse racing party ideas & supplies needed to throw your own fabulous Kentucky Derby bash and to create an extravagant event you and your guests will never forget!  

A Day at the Races Theme Horse Racing Party

Official Kentucky Derby 146 Party Supplies will be available directly from the Kentucky Derby Store and from their parent company, Fanatics. Fanatics runs lots of promotions, so it is probably worth checking both out to see which is offering a better deal.

A Day at the Races Theme Party Invitations

Choosing your invitation is the equivalent of the title of a paper … it sets the tone for the entire party! There are so many great horse racing theme invitations, Party Idea Pros had trouble picking just one. Here are our favorites …

Kentucky Derby Party Invitations

Kentucky Derby Invitation

Kentucky Derby Horse Racing Party Talk Derby to Me Invitation  Argyle Horse Racing Invitations

Talk Derby to Me Invitations | Argyle Horse Racing Invitations

Place Your Bets Derby Party Invitations   Derby Horse Racing Party invitation

Place Your Bets Invitations | Derby Horse Racing Party invitation

Kentucky Derby Party FIll-In Invitation      horse and jockey invitation

Kentucky Derby Invitations | Horse & Jockey Invitations

Cute Little Jockey Invitation     Three Horses Racing Invitations

Cute Little Jockey Invitation | Three Horses Racing – Neck and Neck to Finish

Kentucky Derby Hat Bridal Shower Invitations  Off and Running Horse Racing Party Invitation

Kentucky Derby Hat Bridal Shower Invitation  | Off and Running Invitation

  Funny Kentucky Derby Party Invitations  Thoroughbred Race Horse Party Invitation

Fun Invitation To Host a Kentucky Derby Party | Thoroughbred Race Horse Invitation

Kentucky Derby Decorations

We are so excited – Shindigz has just released new Kentucky Derby theme decorations

A Day at the Races - Horse Racing Kentucky Derby DIY Party Printables

A Day at the Races – Spring Carnival DIY Party Printable

A Day at the Races Horse Racing Theme Party Paper Goods

Kentucky Derby Icon Party Supplies

Order these Kentucky Derby Icon Party Supplies directly from the Kentucky Derby Store

Loving these plastic plates and cups!

Horse Racing Party Day at the Races Plates and Napkins

Horse Racing Party Day at the Races Plates and Napkins

Kentucky Derby Glassware

148th Kentucky Derby Drinkware & Glassware  coming soon! >> Kentucky Derby Glasses

A Day at the Races Theme Party Centerpieces

The Kentucky Derby has become synonymous with red roses. Each year a garland of 554 roses is presented to the winner! So think roses, roses, everywhere. Use different sizes on different tables.


Red Roses100 Premium Red Roses in a Vase – 100 Red Roses in a Vase | Ultimate Elegance Premium Long Stem Red Roses – Four Dozen Red Roses | Silk Rose Flowers w/Raindrops

We generally prefer red roses for this theme, but we must admit these elegant julep cups filled with assorted roses and flowers work well, also...

Consider DIY if you prefer to stick with a more classic derby look. Simply add red roses to these lovely julep cups.

Stainless Steel Mint Julep Cup Mint Julep Cups

Arthur Court Engravable Stainless Steel Mint Julep Cup More Mint Julep Cups

The Preakness Stakes, on the other hand, is associated with Black Eyed Susans. Since Black Eyed Susans are not readily available, consider using simple yellow daisies as a nod to the real thing.

Flowers for The Preakness Stakes

FTD | GiftTree

  Barbie Kentucky Derby Doll        Trail of Painted Ponies Godspeed Figurine

Barbie Kentucky Derby Doll | Trail of Painted Ponies Godspeed Figurine

A Day at the Races Theme Party Place Cards and Place Card Holders

Assign each table a jockey silk or hat and then write your guests’ names directly on the silk with a metallic pen. Both the coasters and the larger hats can work — it is a matter of preference. Out of the 3 options, we would probably go with the jockey hat coasters.

Kentucky Derby Day Plastic Jockey Helmets               Jockey Helmet Cutouts

Derby Day Plastic Jockey Helmets Party Accessory | Jockey Helmet Cutouts

A Day at the Races Horse Racing Theme Party Favors

Any of the napkin rings or place cards can double as party favors but if if you wish to lavish even more gifts upon your guests, you can’t go wrong with either of these party favors. They will also add another dimension to your table setting. Order 1 party favor for each couple, 1 for each single.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Balls      Horse Racing Coasters

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Balls | Horse Racing Coasters

A Day at the Races Theme Party Decorations

Kentucky Derby Bead Necklace with Jockey Caps  Brown Horse Balloon
Festive Derby Bead Necklace with Jockey Caps | Brown Horse Balloon

Kentucky Derby Single-Sided Vertical Banner  Kentucky Derby 145 Double-Sided Nylon Flag

Kentucky Derby Banner  | 145th Kentucky Derby Flag 

Horse Racing Home Accents

Kentucky Derby Store Banner

A Day at the Races Food & Drink Ideas

Kentucky Derby Food and Drink ideas

Kentucky Derby Party Recipes

In the Kentucky Kitchen

There are a few born-and-bred-in-Kentucky dishes that you’ll see on every Derby party menu. The first is Henry Bain sauce. It was named after its inventor, who was the head waiter at Louisville’s Pendennis Club. Bain made the sauce in 1881 as an accompaniment to wild game, and it’s been a Louisville tradition ever since. A sweet, tangy, spicy concoction, this sauce is best served with beef tenderloin.

Another cornerstone of Louisville cuisine is the Hot Brown sandwich. Created by the chef of the Brown Hotel, this open-faced sandwich consists of two slices of toast topped with juicy roast turkey, tomato slices, crispy bacon and a blanket of Cheddar-Parmesan cheese sauce. The sandwich is then broiled until the cheese sauce turns golden brown.

From Louisville’s Benedict Hotel comes the Benedictine, a cucumber canapé spread.

Kentucky Benedictine Tea Sandwiches
Recipes >> Henry Bain SauceEasy Barbeque Beef Tenderloin Steak | Kentucky Hot Brown | Party Cucumber Sandwiches

Derby Desserts

Dessert on Derby day can only be one thing: a rich, dense chocolate-nut pie flavored with Kentucky bourbon. The original version of this pie is trademarked and fiercely protected by its inventors, but there are several unofficial versions of it: Run for the Roses Pie, Eighth Race Pie, Thoroughbred Pie and Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

Recipes >> Run For The Roses Pie III | Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie | Eighth Race Pie

Derby Drinks

There is only one proper drink to have at a Kentucky Derby party, and that’s a mint julep. A traditional mint julep is made with bourbon, muddled mint leaves and sugar, finely crushed ice and a generous sprig of mint for garnish. Almost every state in the South claims to have invented it. The time-honored way to serve a julep is in a frosty silver goblet, but you can use whatever festive cups you like. An extra-nice touch is to trim straws so they just slightly stick out of the cup. When guests sip from the short straws, their noses will be close to the refreshing mint garnish.

While it’s certainly not traditional, consider serving an alternate cocktail for the bourbon-averse: a tart, minty Mojito or a nonalcoholic Mint Tea Punch.  

Mint Julep

Recipes >> Mint Juleps | Alcohol-Free Mint JulepMojitoMinty Tea PunchMint Julep Cups

Mint Julep Mix

Pre-Made Mint Julep Mix

Loving these wines with horses in the name and on the labels! And best yet, if you live in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Sacramento or Oakland, you might be able to get them delivered to your door in just 30 minutes! How cool is that. And if you live elsewhere, Saucey most likely can arrange for delivery right to your door. No need to drive around town looking for these wines which would be so great to serve at your derby party!

Candy, Cakes, and Cookies

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Balls   Horseshoe Pantastic Plastic Cake Pan   Horse Racing Cake Topper

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Balls Horse Shoe Cake Pans | Horse Racing Cake Topper Figure

Handmade Fondant Kentucky Derby Toppers   Glitter Horse Cake Topper

Handmade Fondant Kentucky Derby Toppers | Glitter Horse Cake Topper

Horse Racing Party Entertainment

Music and DVD

The First Saturday in May DVD  Party Up At the Downs - The Official Party Playlist of the Kentucky Derby, Volume 1

The First Saturday in May | My Old Kentucky Home (Pop)

 The Sounds of Kentucky  The Race is On Kentucky Derby Music

The Sounds of Kentucky CD | The Race is On Kentucky Derby Music


Update – look what we found! A beautifully crafted game you can play all year long!

Wooden Tabletop Horseracing Game


Wooden Tabletop Horseracing Game

Plastic Horse and Jockey Figures

Plastic Horse and Jockey Figures (Assorted Colors)

The Racing Horse Game    Desktop Derby 6-Horse Racing Game

The Racing Horse Game | Desktop Derby 6-Horse Racing Game

Kentucky Derby Party Props

A Day at the Races Horse Racing Party Props

Party Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories


Nothing says you are spending a day at the races more than a hat — wear one!

Kentucky Derby Hats

Kentucky Derby Hats

DIY  Derby Hat

Courtesy of Allrecipes Staff

The Derby hat is as longstanding and important a tradition as the Kentucky Derby itself. Almost everyone at the race or any Derby party will be wearing a spectacular hat, whether costly and custom-designed or made at home with a glue gun and imagination. Ask your Derby day guests to come wearing Derby hats, and offer prizes for the most ornate, the most stylish, the most creative and the most bizarre.

Or turn hat-decorating into a party activity: ask everyone to bring plain hats and a selection of ribbons, flowers, lace, tulle, feathers, plastic horse figurines, and any other hat decorations they can dream up. There is no such thing as too big, too bold, too elaborate or too outlandish. Provide glue guns, wire, tape, staplers and scissors, and let the fun begin!

Bright Butterfly Decorations | Pastel Butterfly Decorations | Jewels | BoasTrigger-Fed Glue Gun | Glue Gun Glue Sticks | Joann

Kentucky Derby T-shirts & Suits

WOW! Look what was showing up all over #KentuckyDerby143. Loving it!

Horse Racing Books

The Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook Derby Entertaining
The Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook | Derby Entertaining

The Kentucky Derby: 101 Reasons to Love America's Favorite Horse Race       History of Horse Racing

The Kentucky Derby: 101 Reasons to Love America’s Favorite Horse Race | History of Horse Racing

Heels down. Eyes Up. Ride the Corners.

Kentucky Derby Store Banner