The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing is a rare and very exciting achievement, making it a wonderful reason to throw a party. A Triple Crown means that of the three races - Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes - one three-year-old Thoroughbred horse wins them all. The last time a Thoroughbred racehorse won was in 1978 and every year, horse racing fans watch in anticipation to see if it will happen again. Throwing Triple Crown parties can be as fancy as the actual Belmont Stakes race event or you can just throw an impromtu backyard barbeque.
Here are some fun Triple Crown watch party ideas to try this year:
Food and Drink: Traditional horse race cocktails include the refreshing Mint Julep, Bellini, Long Island Iced Tea or a sparkling glass of champagne. Set up a bar with all the fixings for each drink, ice cubes, glasses and cocktail napkins and serve lemonade and ice tea for guests who don't want alcohol. Horse racing parties aren't complete without a diverse cheese plate with brie, gruyere, camembert, gouda, blue cheese and an assortment of cheddars. For a main course try buttermilk fried chicken, grilled sausage, crab cakes or a brunch buffet with french toast, bacon, quiche, an assortment of fresh fruit and pastries. Common horse racing desserts include pecan pie, fruit pies and bourbon balls.
The Belmont Breeze has been an event cocktail staple since 1998:
1 1/2 oz American blended whiskey
3/4 oz Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
1 1/2 oz cranberry juice
1 oz lemon soda
1 oz club soda
Add the first six ingredients with ice to a shaker and mix. Top with sodas and garnish with mint and lemon slice.
Triple Crown Party Idea Decorations: No horse racing party is complete without a few bails of hay, ribbons, fresh flowers and jockey hats. Most party supply stores have an assortment of horse-themed decorations, but you can also make your own. Buy a few galvanized tin pails and fill with fresh flowers like tulips, hydrangea and roses. Cover tables with green tableclothes and buy napkins in either a checkerboard or houndstooth pattern. Make drink and food tags with some construction paper, a horse silhouette and craft sticks. Bales of hay can be purchased at any local farm or organic market and make the perfect place for guests to sit when covered with wool saddle blankets. Balloons and streamers make any party more festive and they can be tied and draped over and around the hay. Cut horseshoes and horse head silhouettes out of black construction paper and hang throughout the party space.
Belmont Stakes Party Idea Entertainment: Make sure to tune in to the actual race and broadcast it for the entire party to see. It's always fun to place bets at Belmont Stakes watch parties and keep track of winners on a giant chalkboard. Award prizes like a giant horse head trophy or a bunch of carrots. Ask guests to wear their fanciest, loudest hats and vote on who went most overboard. Since the race only lasts a few minutes, make sure to have music or after race coverage on to keep the party energy up. For younger guests, "Pin the Tail on the Horse" is always entertaining and every kid loves pretending to race their own horse with a broom stick and horse tail out of string or yarn.
Use a little imagination to come up with more Belmont Stakes watch party ideas! While extravagant, having the party at a local horse farm provides all-day entertainment and really gets guests into the Triple Crown spirit.