Why? Because the event itself is often pretty much a tailgate or party in itself. Adding a tailgate event, with all the food and drink that goes with it, almost seems superfluous.
Honestly, no one wants to spend time in the parking lot of a major thoroughbred horse race. They want to rush into the track, get their party on in the infield or grandstand before the live racing begins.
So let’s take a look at some of the big parties on big race days, at our favorite racing tracks, that substitute for our beloved tailgating.
80,000 people usually attend the infield party. About.com describes the infield this way:
“It’s crowded, the ground is the only sitting area, and nearly everyone is drinking. Unless you’re one of the first few hundred people to arrive in the infield, you’re not going to be able to get near the few infield spots where you can watch the races.
Additionally, there are not really many covered areas where you can get out of the elements. While there will be a few families, most of the attendees are going to be rowdy locals and college students.”
There are, of course, much more glamorous parties and events for the well to do. No need to go to one of these unless you are friends with Tom Brady and the rest of the New England Patriots playing football at the Super Bowl. Or, maybe you just love seeing women in big, silly hats.
Debauchery. That is the term used by NBC Sports. And it is correct, especially at sporting events. While the Derby crams people in, and they do drink, the infield at Pimlico goes to a whole new level.
It is “a Woodstock-like party in which almost anything goes. It has been affectionately labeled the “The People’s Party.””
In the 1990s the place was really that debauched version they mentioned. The 2000s brought increased security and an aborted ban in fans bringing in their own alcohol. Make sure to check out the “Toilet Run” if you are so lucky to attend.
There is no accessible infield to party on. But a pretty large party does still occur at the last leg of the Triple Crown.
The problem is that you cannot watch the race live from the party location. Bummer. but it is the cheapest of the races to attend.
The Breeders Cup
The location of this event moves around. The 2015 edition is at Keeneland Track in Lexington, Kentucky. So, this event may have to have a standard tailgate party.
But if not, there is still our beloved tailgating at our favorite football game. Maybe that will have to suffice?