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Kentucky Derby 2012: Best Ways to Watch This Year's Derby with Your Friends

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07:  Jockey Jesus L. Castanon (C), riding Shackleford #14, leads the field down the front stretch at the start of the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

You don't have to be at the Kentucky Derby to enjoy America's most famous horse race. Sure, knocking back mint juleps is the best way to experience the event, but it's not the only way.

For those of you who won't be taking the trip to Churchill Downs this year, I've got a few ways you can still have as much fun as you would at the track.

And we're off.

Go to a Different Track or a Casino

If you happen to have a different track in your area, I'd recommend checking it outโ€”I'm sure they'll have something going on for the event. They may even have a bar on the premises, or one in the near vicinity at least.

Or you could always go to a casino, for the obvious reasons and because many will likely have promotions and events planned for the race.

Mix it up, go somewhere newโ€”variety is the spice of life, or so they say.

Set Up a Gambling Syndicate in Your Basement

I joke, I joke. But placing a few friendly wagers with your friends is a fun way to add some spice to the event.

I'm not talking about putting your paychecks down on a trifecta here, eitherโ€”be creative, people. A pair of tickets to an upcoming ballgame goes to the person who predicts the highest-finishing horse. The person who makes the lamest jockey joke buys everyone dinner.

Whoever guesses closest to the amount of lengths the race was won by doesn't have to buy a beer at the bar for a month.

Have some fun with it.

Go Shopping for Fancy Hats Before the Race

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07:  A fan smiles as she poses for a photo wearing her derby hat in the infield during the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Don't do this. I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.

Drinking Game!

You can turn anything into a drinking game.

Divvy up the horses and drink any time the name of one of your horses is called.

Any time the word horse or any other term for a horse (pony, colt, foal, etc.) is said, you drink.

Drink whenever common Kentucky Derby traditions are mentioned or shown (big hats, mint juleps, Twin Spires, "My Old Kentucky Home" is played, etc.)

Get the drift? Soon enough, you'll feel like you're in the infield.

Hit me up on Twitterโ€”my tweets make moves like Bill Belichick.

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