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Friday, April 30, 2010

5 Places to Watch the 2010 Kentucky Derby in St. Louis

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 4:51 PM

click to enlarge Churchill_Downs_Race.jpg
The Kentucky Derby is described as the most exciting two minutes in sports. But as exciting as it may be, not everybody is willing to make the drive to Louisville for a two-minute race. If you're looking for a place to watch the race in St. Louis -- maybe drink a few Mint Juleps or sport that funny hat you have sitting in your closet -- you can't go wrong with these Kentucky Derby-friendly locations. While three spots are in Illinois, they're close enough to count.

Post time for the race is at 5:04 p.m. Saturday.

Fairmount Park Racetrack
9301 Collinsville Road
Collinsville, Illinois
(618) 345-4300

As the area's only horse track, this is the most logical destination for the Derby. Fairmount will open its doors early, at 8:30 a.m., and races starting at noon. General admission is $2.50. The Kentucky Derby will be simulcast around the racetrack.

The Royale
3132 South Kingshighway Boulevard
(314) 772-3600

The Royale is serious about its Derby party: This means formal dress is required and hats are strongly encouraged. There is a $5 cover, and as of 3 p.m. on Friday about 200 tickets were already sold, says an employee. It'll be bustling. There will also be a "best hat" contest for men and women. Music will be provided by Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three. The party kicks of at 2 p.m.

The Stable
1821 Cherokee Street
(314) 771-8500

The Stable hosts its second-annual Kentucky Derby watch party at 2 p.m. There will be Mint Julep specials, a hat contest, and a crowd is expected. There is no cover charge or dress code, so The Stable makes for a more casual alternative to The Royale.

Ardie and Tiny's
100 Joe Street
Collinsville, Illinois
(618) 345-4933

Located right across the street from Fairmount Park, this little bar won the RFT's "Best Place To Drown Your Sorrows" category in 2003. As a favorite hangout spot for frustrated gamblers and horse track employees, expect this place this be a little more rowdy than the others on the list. No dress code here, and fancy-schmancy derby hats will likely not be prominent either. But the place should get packed and beers are just $2. If you lose your shirt on a horse, shots of schnapps are a $1, says Jan Ligibel, a bartender we called.

Route 3 OTB
2400 Mississippi Avenue
Sauget, Illinois
(618) 274-6468

If you're just a die-hard gambler who could care less about fancy hats or Mint Juleps, this might be the perfect place for you. Walk in, make a bet and pray your horse takes the title.

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