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Ideas for Throwing a Breeders’ Cup Party at Home

Ideas for Throwing a Breeders’ Cup Party at Home: Breeders’ Cup weekend is now quite synonymous with all-out watch parties. Rather than braving the crowds of a packed racetrack with a large group of friends, racing fans and party people alike are retreating to their homes and throwing some of the most enjoyable parties imaginable. In case you haven’t already planned your own Breeders’ Cup event, here are a few ideas to get you thinking about the style of party you want!

Breeders' Cup Party

To link the lavender julep to the Breeders’ Cup, use Maker’s Mark Bourbon, an official sponsor of the ultimate weekend of racing. Photo: Pinterest

Of course, the first and most essential thing you must be aware of is the type of crowd for which you will be planning the party. Are they hardcore horse racing fans, or are they more casual observers expecting a good time with friends at a party? Discriminating between the two will set the tone for your party. Racing fans and horse people are much more easy to please than people simply looking for a good time; screening the races on a big screen television with simple appetizers and drinks should easily appease the former, whereas much more preparation will need to go into planning a party for the latter.

However, by no means does less preparation equate to a less interesting party! All partygoers will certainly appreciate food and drinks. If you’re planning on serving a complete meal, consider what sort of food your guests will appreciate. BBQ and its related sides seem to always evoke positive responses from all types of party guests, and the options of having it catered by or picked up from local joints can erase the massive stress that comes from feeding one’s guests. Lexington natives or neighbors ought to check out the Blue Door Smokehouse for all BBQ needs. Other foods that can be quickly grilled up for the more casual Breeders’ Cup party include the beloved classics of hamburgers and hot dogs. No matter what sort of food you decide to serve, be sure your dinner plans don’t interfere with too many post times!

In terms of parties that will feature more finger foods, the options are seemingly endless and can be quite overwhelming. Again, knowing your audience will be key to narrowing your choices. Chips-and-dip type foods may be more suitable for horse racing fan parties, whereas more formal parties may require more intricate servings like tomato, bacon, and cheese tarts (Step-By-Step Recipes) or smoked salmon and cream cheese cucumber bites (Baker by Nature). In contrast, desserts like these adorable and delicious cookies created by Party Pinching or horse-shaped cookies in general should suit both types of parties while further highlighting the horse racing theme. Regardless of what sort of snacks you choose, serve them on Keeneland platters and decorative plates to highlight the racetrack hosting the Breeders’ Cup.

Drink options are as important as food when it comes to horse racing parties! To keep your party focused on celebrating the Breeders’ Cup, try creating purple mixed drinks. This lavender mint julep created by Pizzazzerie serves as an ode to the Kentucky Derby while also being an easy drink to beautifully decorate with purple. In addition, the mint julep provides the perfect connection to Kentucky with its inclusion of home-grown bourbon. To link this drink to the Breeders’ Cup even further, use Maker’s Mark Bourbon, an official sponsor of the ultimate weekend of racing. Another purple mixed drink worth a taste is Viniq’s purple Tropical Glam, a punch-type twist on classic sangria that can be dressed up for a formal party or simplified for a casual gathering. Wine and beer are also beverages worth having on hand, and while many people claim different brand preferences, Stella Artois and 14 Hands Winery are Breeders’ Cup sponsors.

Similar to drinks, decor should mirror the purple horse racing event itself. Thankfully, purple, gold, and white decorations are easy to come by, and horses serve as perfect centerpieces. For more formal party plans, consider using placemats, plates, glasses, and all other sorts of dinnerware decorated with horses. More casual parties can use the same sort of horse-centered decor with paper and plastic utensils and dinnerware while still keeping the focus on the horse, like these horse racing napkins from the ever useful Amazon that would be perfect for holding snacks. These creatively painted horses glued to mason jars (Hostess with the Mostess) that could easily shift to only shades of purple and gold are the perfect sort of decoration to keep horse racing at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

An inordinate amount of planning goes into molding a party experience to one’s guests, but the end reward of a successful and enjoyable event is always worth the work. No matter what sort of Breeders’ Cup party you have planned, be sure to keep the focus on what matters most – the incredible weekend of horse racing that will certainly cement its place in history.

The 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be broadcast live on NBC Sports:
Friday, October 30: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Saturday, October 31: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Saturday, October 31: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET on NBC