Celebrities that Love the Kentucky Derby

Held for 150 years, the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the US. While it may only last two minutes, those two minutes are some of the most anticipated throughout the year, with fans grappling at the Kentucky Derby odds weeks before the event to see if they’ll get lucky.

Unlike any other horse racing event, the Kentucky Derby hosts around 150,000 people each year which is a figure many other horse races in US history are yet to see. This year, the event will take place on May 4th, in which there’s still a few tickets left to get your hands on if you haven’t already.

Described by Forbes as ‘one of the greatest bucket-list sporting events’ in America, the Kentucky Derby has been known to attract a number of celebrity guests too.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the celebrities you can expect to bump into at this year’s Kentucky Derby.

Patrick Mahomes

Last year, the Kentucky Derby red carpet was walked by no other than Super Bowl champion, Patrick Mahomes. The star was given the opportunity to test his vocals as he called ‘Riders Up’ – the famous introduction that starts every Kentucky Derby. With a $3 million purse for the winner, Mahomes began the start of the most exciting 2 minutes in horse racing history.

Local media commented that Mahomes ‘stole the show’ as he introduced the race and fired up the crowd for the event.

Travis Tritt

Country music legend Travis Tritt was also among the celebrity crowd at the last Kentucky Derby, in which he made other fans feel at ease by admitting he was just as confused about who to put his money on as everybody else. His humble statement was welcome to many other fans’ ears as the 2023 derby’s handful of scratched horses spelled out an unpredictable field for the ‘Run of the Roses’.

Jack Harlow

The event also attracted a celebrity local, Jack Harlow, who was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. While he may be on the radar in Louisville, Harlow was rather reserved on the red carpet, in which he commented ‘I am shy’ when asked by reporters about his pick for the 2023 derby.

Harlow was one of a handful of celebrities that chose not to comment directly to the media on their picks for the event, leaving us all guessing which basket their eggs were in.

Queen Elizabeth II

The Kentucky Derby is known for its historicism and grandeur, providing guests with the opportunity to go all out with their fanciest outfits and hats for the event, while rubbing elbows with some pretty exciting celebrities. However, there is no guest who could set the scene for grandeur quite like Queen Elizabeth the II of England.

Having frequented the event five times between 1984 and 2007, Queen Elizabeth II was drawn in by her love of horses. Indulging her lifelong passion, Queen Elizabeth has been described as a lifelong equestrian, with her final trip to the 2007 Derby being at the great age of 70.

While a love of horses is a common theme in the British royal family, only time will tell if future Kentucky Derbyies will be frequented by any more royals.

Culinary icons

There are a number of celebrity culinary icons that attend the Kentucky Derby, including Top Chef’s Brooke Williamson, Kelsey Barnard, Marcus Samuelson, and Food Network stars Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis.

The high rolling energy, palpable excitement, and alluring nature of the event are said to be the reason why so many high rollers are attracted to the Kentucky Derby. However, these chefs weren’t all off duty at the event as the Kentucky Derby is as much about the fancy food and champagne as it is about the sport.

These chefs represented some of the best in the country who flew in to provide services for the event. This isn’t surprising when one of the guests is no other than real life royalty.

Chris Pine

Known for his role in the Star Trek films, Chris Pine was of course seen of the red carpet of the Kentucky Derby, alongside his father Robert Pine. In true Hollywood style, the pair were not only there for the most exciting 2 minute event, but also the weekend long gala that accompanies the event.

Pulling out their finest attire, both were seen at the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala and Unbridled Eve Gala of the 2023 Kentucky Derby.

Overall, with a sporting event this grand and historical, it’s no surprise that it attracts some of the most famous names on the globe. From canapes served by famous chefs, to red carpets walked by real life royalty, the Kentucky Derby sure is an exciting place to be.

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