Horseracing’s biggest day means festivities at South Florida pari-mutuels Saturday.
Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach, Calder Casino and Race Course in Miami Gardens and the Palm Beach Kennel Club will be offering mint juleps and awards for best Derby Day hat. (The contest is primarily for women.)
All three venues also will hold giveaways, including vouchers for betting on the 139th Run for the Roses, which goes off at about 6:24 p.m. (Actually betting on the race is still up in the air.)
Guests stopping by the TSC Elite Players Club at Calder can be among 20 winners to receive a $50 betting voucher to use on the Derby. The fifth-floor Turf Club will present a Buffet of Derby Classics from noon to 6 p.m. for $39, and the clubhouse dining area on the fourth floor will charge $29. Call 305-625-7277.
Gulfstream will open the Silks Simulcast room at 10 a.m., while Ten Palms, featuring a $40 all-you-can eat buffet, will open at 11 a.m.
Drawings for official Kentucky Derby merchandise will be available for those people who purchase a seat in Silks. During the afternoon, Gulfstream will pull the names of five Gulfstream Park Advantage members (sign-up is free), and each will be awarded a $100 win, place and show wager on the Kentucky Derby.
Gulfstream also will host a Cinco de Mayo party from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday for families, with a taco station, sombrero giveaway, music and fried ice cream.
The Palm Beach Kennel Club will open its gates early at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Post time for Churchill Downs’ first race is 10:30 a.m., while the post time for the first of 15 dog races is 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, the fifth annual Rock the Race party is set for 4-7 p.m. Saturday at Passion Nightclub at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. Proceeds benefit the children and adults at the Ann Storck Center for the disabled.
Cost is $50. Call Jennifer Homan 954-584-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.