Throw this race-day party in record time.

By Rachael Ray Every Day
November 01, 2005

The Kentucky Derby is a great excuse for a party, and the race is over in about two minutes, so you have plenty of time to eat, drink and hang out with friends. Best of all, a Derby day party requires almost no planning. Using ingredients you have on hand along with a few last-minute items from the store, you can prep most of the food the night before -- and use the morning to study up on the horses.


tips + how-tos


tips + tricks


Mad Hatters

Women traditionally wear elaborate hats to the Derby at Churchill Downs. Ask your guests to bring a straw hat, then provide bins of feathers, lace, flowers, ribbons, beads, fabric scraps and glue or a hot-glue gun for decorating. Give everyone five minutes to finish the job -- then vote on the best design.

Place Your Bets

Download and print out betting sheets to keep everyone honest. Want to sound like a Derby pro? Pick up some Derby lingo, too


1. Cucumber

2. Arugula

3. Cantaloupes

4. Fresh mint

5. Quick-cooking grits

6. Sliced pimientos

7. Sharp cheddar cheese

8. Cream cheese

9. Dry-cured country

10. Ham or prosciutto