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Make the Kentucky Derby Infield Fun Again

The Kentucky Derby has many great traditions.  The call to the post, the singing of My Old Kentucky Home, mint juleps, the rose garland and infield debauchery.  Unfortunately, the latter has fallen by the wayside and it’s our job to bring this great tradition back from the grave.

For years, the Infield was a wild west of sorts.  The beer flowed freely from coolers, people wrestled in mud and naked men climbed flagpoles.  The stories of clever smugglers created legendary tales that have been passed down for generations.  Unfortunately, corporate America saw an end to that, but it does not mean the fun has to stop.

In recent years, Infield attire has changed.  Instead of jorts, the suit has become the most popular wardrobe selection.  Not only did camera phones dramatically decrease Infield nudity, it prompted too many people to dress to impress on Instagram.  Folks, that’s not what the Infield is about.

This year I am asking General Admission ticket-holders to leave the suits at home.  No Suit, No Shirt, No Problem.

The Infield needs less of this…


…and more of this.

See, you can still fit in with a tie and a hat in the Infield.

There are many reasons why you should abandon the formal attire.  Let me explain.


The first Saturday of May always brings bad weather.  It’s either 85 degrees or raining.  A nice, heavy suit leads to dehydration and the muddy, rainy mess will ruin the suit forever.  For the ladies who love to wear heels, they’re asking for blisters.  In the many miles that will be walked, a heel is destined to break.  That won’t happen if they are left at home.

Not the Place

When thousands gather at Churchill Downs for the 144th running of the roses, many will claim a seat in the grandstand or on Millionaires’ Row.  That occasion requires a certain dress code, one that involves a collared shirt for men and a colorful hat for women.  It’s a look that works at Keeneland or on that side of the track.

The phrase, “he’s from the other side of the track,” should be taken literally for the Derby.  The other side of the track demands an outlandish attitude.


So you want to wear a suit for Derby?  You can find plenty at the Goodwill, one that will look great with the sleeves torn off.  You think big hats are cool?  Bucket hats do a great job of keeping the sun off your skin on a sweltering day.

You don’t need to rock flip-flops and jorts.  In fact, nothing will grab more attention than a creative costume.  These are outfits that carry an incredible amount of street cred.

Or you could take it one step farther by integrating a Derby horse into your costume.  In 2015, this guy was interviewed by multiple news outlets for his rendition of American Pharoah.

The Kentucky Derby Infield is a majestic place.  Its fame and lore does not grow by being fancy.  Make the most of this wonderful annual experience by living under the motto, “No Suit, No Shirt, No Problem.”  Just don’t fall when you make a run for it atop the pot-o-potties.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

8 Comments for Make the Kentucky Derby Infield Fun Again

  1. BG Cat
    9:07 pm April 26, 2018 Permalink

    Yes! Right on Nick!

    • Smyrna_Cat
      9:12 pm April 26, 2018 Permalink

      I am not sure you convinced me that top picture is “fun.” How about Ryan and some greased pig fun?

  2. RealCatsFan
    10:23 pm April 26, 2018 Permalink

    The brass at Churchill Downs lost me as a customer forever when they used the Boston Marathon bombing as a convenient excuse to ban all coolers from the infield for Oaks and Derby. This was simply a greedy money grab to force patrons to buy the overpriced crap that they sell. Eff Churchill Downs, and eff the Derby infield. Nothing but a corporate money grab now. Now this year you can’t even drive your car to the track to drop people off. Bet all the people who paid their months mortgage letting people pay to park in their yards will be happy.

  3. Luether
    1:18 am April 27, 2018 Permalink

    About half of these clowns in the infield don’t see a horse all day…

  4. unbridled
    7:30 am April 27, 2018 Permalink

    So millennials have chosen to wear suits and more formal attire to the infield? Typical. That’s as stupid as people wearing suits to Keenland or a football game. Embarrassing

    • Citizen10
      9:45 am April 27, 2018 Permalink

      Unironically complaining about millennials. Only in the KSR comments section.

  5. ukcatntn
    8:35 am April 27, 2018 Permalink

    Went to the infield several times. No I never saw a horse. But had an outstanding time. Bathing suits and shorts. And lots and lots of smuggled alcohol. That’s what it’s all about. Respect the playing of My Old KY Home, experiencing more than Mardi Gras, and smuggling in alcohol. No one should dress up for the infield. It just isn’t done.

  6. Souf beach Lou
    8:58 am April 27, 2018 Permalink