Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby - Bluegrass Country

4 night Event - starting in Lexington, Kentucky - ending in Lexington, Kentucky

A Tauck Event Tour.

Celebrating 90 years in the travel touring business, Tauck offer the ultimate in luxury touring. Throughout the years, ingenuity and innovation, plus a focus on customer servce and authentic experiences, have grown Tauck into one of the world's leading travel touring companies. On your Tauck Event you can expect a small group, one of a kind travel experiences, exclusive access to places and experiences you can't do on your own, the finest hotels, luxury motorcoaches, highly experienced tour directors, go behind-the-scenes at key sites and venues often off-the-beaten track, Special "twists" and in-depth insights by local experts, Exclusive Private Gala Evening Events held in premier venues – cocktail receptions, special dinners, unique entertainment performances and presentations by noted experts.

Experience all the excitement of the 142nd Running of the Kentucky Derby as a VIP in Tauck’s reserved seating at legendary Churchill Downs on this exclusive Tauck Event, May 4 – 8, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky. Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby enhances the Derby experience on this Thoroughbred World itinerary with a private horse farm visit; sightseeing focusing on the world of Thoroughbred horses; and admission to the 142nd Kentucky Oaks... the Derby's annual “sister race” for 3-year-old fillies, held the day before the Derby. -

2016 Guaranteed departure dates:
May 4th
View Itinerary Details

Day 1: Arrive Lexington, Kentucky

The "Bluegrass Country" itinerary of Tauck's Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby Event begins: Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa, 7:00 PM. Welcome to Lexington, Kentucky – the “horse capital of the world” – and the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa. Your hotel for Tauck’s exclusive five-day celebration of the Kentucky Derby and the world of thoroughbred racing is nestled in the rolling green meadows of Kentucky’s Bluegrass country, epicenter of “the sport of kings.” On your first evening, May 4, join us for a welcome reception on the patio of the Bluegrass Pavilion, followed by dinner in the hotel's ballroom with entertainment featuring the Berea Festival Dancers and the Hog Operation Bluegrass Band, a Derby favorite.

Lodging Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa


Day 2: Kentucky Heritage and dinner at Keeneland

Delve into the heritage and traditions of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region on this sightseeing track featuring guided visits to historic sites in the Lexington area. Explore the life of Kentucky statesman Henry Clay and his descendants on a guided tour of Ashland, the Lexington estate established by “the Great Compromiser” – an early horse racing patron and breeder of thoroughbreds – in 1806. Lexington sightseeing also includes visits to Thoroughbred Park, with its life-size bronze statues of horses and jockeys, and to the renowned Kentucky Horse Park, featuring a tour of the International Museum of the Horse. The day also includes lunch in a historic mansion house. Back at your hotel this afternoon, attend an enjoyable presentation by one of thoroughbred racing's most renowned personalities – Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, winner of the Kentucky Derby in 1987 and 1994! Tonight, join us for cocktails on the lawn at Keeneland – the world-renowned thoroughbred horse racing and auction complex outside Lexington – followed by a very special dinner overlooking Keeneland's racetrack, considered one of the finest thoroughbred racing facilities in the world; the evening also includes a talk by local expert Mike Cameron on the business of raising and racing thoroughbred horses.

Lodging Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3: Bridles & Bourbon / Dine-around dinner in Lexington

Your Bluegrass Country itinerary continues in and around Lexington today with an in-depth look at two enduring local traditions – raising and racing world-class thoroughbred horses, and creating fine Kentucky Bourbon. Begin with a private, exclusive visit to one of several Lexington-area horse farms for a behind-the-scenes look at how thoroughbred horses are bred, raised and trained. Then you're off to the 130-acre Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort – the oldest continually operating distillery in America – for a unique, firsthand look at the time-honored art of distilling, aging and bottling fine Kentucky Bourbon... and, of course, a tasting of the distillery’s award-winning product, plus a barbecue lunch at their private Clubhouse with entertainment by a bluegrass band. Tonight, join us for a Dine-around evening featuring dinner à la carte at your choice of three select Lexington restaurants.

Lodging Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: "Derby Day" The 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby

Guests on the Bluegrass Country itinerary travel to Louisville’s Churchill Downs today (Saturday, May 7) to experience in inimitable Tauck Style all the glamour and excitement of the greatest event in thoroughbred racing: “Derby Day” – The 142nd Running of the Kentucky Derby, the “Run for the Roses”... the first “jewel” in thoroughbred racing’s annual “Triple Crown.” You’ll see firsthand why legendary Churchill Downs is an integral part of the equine industry, and experience all the pageantry and excitement of Derby Day from your choice of seating, each enjoying a different experience and a different vantage point of the racetrack. You can choose Tauck's reserved VIP seating in a Start Gate Unit – an enclosed, air-conditioned unit offering fine regional cuisine and an open bar available all day, a live pari-mutuel teller right in your unit – a Tauck Exclusive – and breathtaking views of the racetrack. Or you can select First Turn Covered Open Air Seating in a grandstand-style setting overlooking Churchill Downs' First Turn – featuring great views of the horses coming around the bend, with light snack bar-style food included and access to the section's betting windows and amenities. Either way you choose, you're in for an unforgettable Tauck Kentucky Derby experience! After an incredible Derby Day, you'll return to the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa in Lexington for dinner and a farewell evening including live country music.

Lodging Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: Journey Home or extend your stay

Tauck's unforgettable Kentucky Derby event ends in Lexington or extend your stay. A transfer is included from the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa to Lexington's Blue Grass Airport. Fly home anytime. Allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in.


Your Tauck Tour Highlights

Four nights’ accommodations in Lexington at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa
Welcome reception and dinner with local bluegrass entertainment
Bluegrass Country itinerary's “Kentucky Heritage” sightseeing including visits to Henry Clay's Ashland estate and the Kentucky Horse Park featuring the International Museum of the Horse
A behind-the-scenes visit to a private Lexington horse farm
Talk by Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron; winner of 6 Triple Crown races (including 2 Derbies), 9 Breeder's Cup races and 3 Kentucky Oaks, Chris ranks among thoroughbred racing's all-time leaders in purse earnings; he served as a technical advisor, racing designer and actor in the 2003 film Seabiscuit.
Visit to the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort – Kentucky's oldest continually operating bourbon distillery – for a look at the production of fine Kentucky Bourbon with a tour, tasting and barbecue lunch in their private Clubhouse
Cocktails and dinner at the renowned Keeneland Thoroughbred racing complex in Lexington
À la carte dine-around dinner in Lexington at your choice of 3 select local restaurants
Viewing of the 142nd Kentucky Derby as a VIP in Tauck's reserved seating in a Start Gate Unit – featuring great views of the action, open bar and dining throughout the day – or in First Turn Covered Open Air Seating overlooking Churchill Downs' famous First Turn
Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as detailed
All meals – 11 (4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners); service charges, gratuities to Tauck Directors, hotel staff, local guides and drivers, admission fees, taxes and porterage.

Your Hotels....

Nights 1 - 4 : Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa - Lexington, Kentucky

Set in the rolling meadows of the Bluegrass Country, the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa extends a warm Kentucky welcome to guests in the true spirit of Southern hospitality. Guest rooms encourage guests to make themselves right at home with a coffee / tea maker, iron and ironing board, access to high-speed Internet, and remote-control TV with cable, satellite and premium movie channels. During your stay, take advantage of tennis courts, the indoor or outdoor swimming pools, play a few holes on the Rees Jones-designed golf course at the Griffin Gate Golf Club or find your inner harmony in the tranquil ambiance of The Spa at Griffin Gate with a soothing or rejuvenating treatment. Sample some of Kentucky’s finest bourbons at JW’s Lounge or indulge your love of great coffee at the on-site Starbucks.

Tour Only Cost: All prices quoted below are per adult person, per tour in British Pounds (GBP)

Departure Dates

Single Twin/Double Triple Quad
Start Gate Unit £5400 £4985 £4849 Please call us
First Turn Covered Open Air Seating £3785 £3368 £3226 Please call us


Special Solo Traveller Savings – save up to £130 off the single room price on select departure dates – Please call us for more details. 

Children - may qualify for a discount when sharing a room with 2 adults - Please call us for details. 
Not included in your tour cost:
Flights – we can package your tour with flights at very competitive airfares using our airline partners. Please call us to discuss the best airline for your itinerary.
Pre or post accommodation - If you want to extend your stay at the start or the end of your escorted tour or add another destination to your booking please call us and we will be happy to provide a quote.
Meals, other than those listed in the itinerary.
The customary gratuities for the Tour Director and local drivers are not included.
There are many questions and considerations you might have when planning an escorted tour with Tauck Tours. For more information please click here.


Please call us on FREEPHONE 0800 0336 335 or EMAIL us we are open 7 days a week.

We will be happy to answer any questions, check the availability of your tour, offer a quote for flights and any pre or post nights you would like to add.

When you are ready to go ahead with the booking, a non-refundable deposit of 10% will be due at time of booking or the full balance if you are due to travel within 8 weeks.