The Kentucky Derby is not just another horse race, it’s the Super Bowl of thoroughbred horse racing, the biggest and brightest jewel of the Triple Crown, which includes The Belmont and The Preakness.

Much like the Super Bowl, The Derby draws in people who have no interest in the sport during the rest of the season. When Derby Day approaches, they sit up and take notice, will gather with friends and family, attend watch parties and wager on the results. 

And for horse racing fans, it’s the pinnacle, the biggest event of the season. They don’t call the Derby the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” for nothing.

With all that in mind, the Friends of the Monterey Symphony is inviting both Symphony supporters and horse-racing fans and non-fans alike to attend their annual “Derby Day” event May 5, to celebrate the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby.
 
Derby Day is set for 12:30 p.m. at the Intercontinental Clement Hotel, 750 Cannery Row, in Monterey. This exciting and fun-filled event includes complimentary valet parking, free mint juleps, lunch, horse chances, silent and live auctions and raffles, and pop-up performances featuring the Symphony’s principal musicians. 
 
Kentucky Derby attire — those fabulous “Southern Belle” hats for the ladies, neckties and bowties for the gents — is encouraged for the colorful “Run for the Roses,” broadcast that day from Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky.

KSBW-TV news anchor Dan Green will be the auctioneer, while multi-instrumentalist Dave Holodiloff will provide cocktail hour music. The live and silent auctions will feature the “best of the Monterey Peninsula” to bid on. 
 
Tickets are $125 general admission ($100 active-duty military); $500 for the Winner's Circle, $1,000 for the Winner's Circle Double, $2,500 for Winner's Circle Half Table (5 tickets) and $5,000 for Winner's Circle Full table (10 tickets), available at montereysymphony.org.
 
Delicious meal options for lunch include: Flat Iron Steak with Roasted Garlic Potato Purée, Garden Beans, Caramelized Onion, Grain Mustard Jus; Pacific Halibut  with Roasted Fingerling Potato, Broccoli Rabe, White Wine Caper Sauce; Ratatouille Stuffed Eggplant (Vegetarian) with Red Quinoa, Rainbow Chard & Charred Tomato-Basil Sauce; and Chef’s choice of desserts.

As for the race itself, which horse should you put your money on? Justify is the favorite, leading the pack at 3-1 odds to win, followed closely by Mendelssohn at 5-1, Magnum Moon at 6-1 and Bolt d'Oro at 8-1.

But don’t count out fan-favorite Audible at 8-1, which is in the very favorable number 5 post. Post No. 5 is the magic number, with 10 Derby champions starting out of that gate. At 8-1 odds, Audible has decent potential to build on that legacy. A staggering 21 horses have finished in the money from No. 5.

Want a longshot that could earn you a big payoff? Go with My Boy Jack, a 30-1 longshot that SportsLine's Jody Demling says will make “a serious run at the title.”
 
The event will benefit the Monterey Symphony's Music for the Schools program.
 
For additional information, please call 831-646-8511 or visit the website: www.montereysymphony.org.