When Jason Rose kicked off the Stella Artois Derby Dayclub event at Turf Paradise last year, it sold out in eight days.
As a result, more than double the Derby fans can enjoy the May 6 party, which includes a tent close to the Turf Paradise races, a VIP area, and Hefeweizen and Craft Beer Garden.
“We put tickets on sale a little earlier this year, too,” Rose says. “We’ve expanded the size of the tent, so they’re as close as 20 feet away and the horses are zipping by.
“We have VIP tickets, which include all the food and drink for the day. You’re in a tent. It’s all hosted. Tables include a complimentary bottle of Chandon champagne.”
Partiers can place bets on the day’s racing at Turf Paradise and the Kentucky Derby, all while enjoying mint juleps, DJs, and the beer garden, sponsored by Hensley Beverage Company.
“Turf Paradise is the only live horse racing track in Arizona,” says Rose, who is also behind the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships. “Our PR firm represented them for a number of years. Separate of that, we have the Polo Championships, which received a tremendous response. We decided to fuse the two for a one-of-a-kind Kentucky Derby party.”
Tents will sprinkle the grounds. The polo-style enclosures will be in the grass, near the finish line and on the backstretch.
“It’s the only Kentucky Derby event in Arizona that has live horse racing and gambling,” he says. “It’s a fun, different day. We saw people dress up a lot, like they do at the polo event.”
The idea for the Derby event was “years in the making,” Rose says.
“People had suggested this concept as a party on the rail, which, as far as we know, has not been done anywhere in horse racing,” he adds.
“We finally convinced Turf that this is something worth doing and, voila, it was off the charts. I didn’t appreciate how much people wanted to get out, dress up and celebrate Derby Day.”
Stella Artois Derby Dayclub, Turf Paradise, 1501 W. Bell Road, Phoenix, 480.423.1414, thepoloparty/derby, gates open at 7:15 a.m. Saturday, May 6, $25-$110.