Published on May 20th, 2017 | by The Riding Corner

A Day at the Races Theme Horse Racing Party

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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

Mark your calendars. It is never too early to begin planning your Triple Crown parties.


Preakness Stakes – May 20, 2017 CONGRATULATIONS CLOUD COMPUTING!

Belmont Stakes – June 10, 2017

A Day at the Races Theme Horse Racing Party
Join the Festivities. Attend the Races!  Book Your Hotel TODAY!..Official Kentucky Derby Party Supplies

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, we had trouble picking just one. Here are our favorites …

142nd Kentucky Derby Invitation, horse racing theme 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 InvitationsDerby 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

Funny Kentucky Derby Party | Thoroughbred Race Horse Invitation

A Day at the Races Horse Racing Theme Party Stamps

Personalize your stamps by using Zazzle custom postage. Before purchasing any postage, please be sure to bring a complete invitation, including all inserts, to a local post office to determine exactly how much postage is required.

Derby Time in Ky. stampSTRAIGHTAWAY! U.S. postage stamp   TOP Race to Victory stamp

STRAIGHTAWAY! U.S. postage | TOP Race to Victory

Kentucky Derby Decorations

We are so excited that Shindigz has just released new Kentucky Derby theme decorationsShindigz now has a wide variety of classic Kentucky Derby party decorations, tableware, centerpieces, photo back-drop kits, and more. Click our text link or the photo below to find the perfect accessories for your party!

Kentucky Derby Party Planning, Ideas & Supplies

Kentucky Derby Run for the Roses Kit   Kentucky Derby Personalized Centerpieces Kentucky Derby Dinner Plates

Kentucky Derby Run for the Roses Kit | Kentucky Derby Personalized Centerpieces |Kentucky Derby Dinner Plates

Wow your guests with elegant Kentucky Derby themed table setups! Check out this great DIY video from Shindigz for ideas on how…


Shindigz is not the only supplier of fantastic Kentucky Derby party decor. Take a look at some of the great ‘Day at the Races’ themed party accessories we found on Amazon!

Derby Photo Prop Party Accessory    Horse Confetti Small

Derby Photo Prop | Horse Confetti

 Horse Jumbo Foil Balloon    Red Silk Rose Flower Lei Luau Hawaii Party Derby

Horse Jumbo 43″ Foil Balloon | 36″ Red Silk Rose Flower Lei

Kentucky Derby Party Supplies, Horse Racing Party Supplies

Here are a few more Kentucky Derby party decor ideas

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

Official Kentucky Derby Party Supplies

Order your 143rd  Kentucky Derby Party Supplies directly from the Kentucky Derby Store | Other sources >> Kentucky Derby Party Pack | More Kentucky Derby Party Supplies

Loving these plastic plates and cups!

 Kentucky Derby Icon Plastic Plates  Kentucky Derby Icon Plastic Souvenir Cups

Kentucky Derby Icon Plastic Plates |  Icon Plastic Souvenir Cups

Horse Racing Party Day at the Races Plates and Napkins

Horse Racing Party Day at the Races Plates and Napkins

Kentucky Derby Drinkware & Glassware

143rd Kentucky Derby Drinkware & Glassware >> Kentucky Derby Glasses

Official Kentucky Derby 143 Party Supplies

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

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

1 800 Flowers | FTD | GiftTree

  Barbie Kentucky Derby Doll        Trail of Painted Ponies Godspeed Figurine

Barbie Kentucky Derby Doll | Trail of Painted Ponies Godspeed Figurine

      Ky Derby Party Horse & Jockey Centerpiece Cascade Derby Day Playmates       HORSE RACING DESSERT PLATES " DAY AT THE RACES"
Derby Party Horse Race Centerpiece | Horse & Jockey Centerpiece Cascade | Derby Day Playmates | A Day at the Races Tabletop Centerpiece

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 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 143 Nylon Flag Kentucky Derby 143 Traditions Banner

143rd Kentucky Derby Nylon Flag143rd Kentucky Derby Traditions Banner

Horse Racing Home Accents


Kentucky Derby 4-Pack Boxed Coaster Set  Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs Bottle Opener

Kentucky Derby 4-Pack Boxed Coaster SetKentucky Derby Churchill Downs Bottle Opener

Kentucky Derby Store Banner

A Day at the Races Food & Drink Ideas

Kentucky Derby Party Recipes

Kentucky Derby Food and Drink ideas

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.

Benedictine, a cucumber canapé spread

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.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan 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 Juleps

Mint Julep Mix

Pre-Made Mint Julep Mix

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

Get your guests rallied up with some great interactive ‘Day at the Races’ party games, DVDs and music. Nothing shouts fantastic party like a wide variety of themed entertainment!

        Champion Jockey- G1 Jockey and Gallop Racer   Champion Jockey- G1 Jockey and Gallop Racer - Nintendo Wii

Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey and Gallop Racer – Playstation 3 or Nintendo Wii 

(See below video for game tutorial)

The Racing Horse Game     Champion Sports Steel Horseshoe Set

The Racing Horse Game | Champion Sports Steel Horseshoe Set

Music and DVD

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

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


Win, Place & Show Tickets      Lets Go to the Races VCR Horse Racing Game

HORSE RACKING TOTE TICKETS SET OF 200 | Lets Go to the Races VCR Horse Racing Game

Plastic Horse and Jockey Figures (Assorted Colors)

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

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 | Boas | Deluxe Boas | Feather Boas | Trigger-Fed Glue Gun | Glue Gun Glue Sticks | Joann

Kentucky Derby T-shirts

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

A Day at the Races Theme Horse Racing Party The Riding Corner

Summary: Rally your friends for race day by hosting a 'Day at the Races' themed horse racing party. Explore the best party ideas & supplies needed to throw your own fabulous Kentucky Derby bash!


Racing Party!

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About the Author

Make The Riding Corner your first and only stop in your quest to know what’s hot and what’s not in equestrian life! We will keep you current on horses in the news and keep you looking good in fashionable riding apparel and equipment. Look forward to features on horse and pony theme books, gifts, & party ideas. Heels Down. Eyes Up. Ride the Corners.

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