It’s a good bet that Belterra Park Gaming in Anderson Township is quickly becoming the place to be in the Cincinnati area during the annual Kentucky Derby horse race.

That’s because the racetrack and gaming facility at 6301 Kellogg Road goes “all in” with its Kentucky Derby party, says Blair Bendel, vice president of marketing of Belterra Park Gaming and Belterra Casino Resort.

This year’s Kentucky Derby party at Belterra Park Gaming on Saturday, May 6, includes a derby hat contest, bourbon-inspired dishes at all of the facility’s restaurants, mint juleps and other drinks, more than 1,300 video lottery terminal games and wagering on the horse races at Belterra and the televised Kentucky Derby horse race at Louisville’s Churchill Downs racetrack, he says.

“It’s really become a fun Cincinnati event,” says Bendel. “In addition to betting on the horses we have the gaming floor and then the restaurants around the property. So there’s a lot to do when you’re here at Belterra Park.”

There’s also a lot of people. About 20,000 people on average attend the Kentucky Derby party throughout the day at Belterra Park Gaming, he says. “This is our largest event of the year,” Bendel says.

Feeding all those people is no problem. Belterra Park Gaming’s lineup of restaurants includes Stadium Sports Bar & Grill, with 50 high-definition TVs and 32 beers on tap; Market Buffet, with seven live-action cooking stations and handcrafted, brick-oven-baked pizzas; Favorites Steak & Pasta, which features handmade pasta, steaks and seafood; Burger Brothers, which features fresh-ground Angus beef hamburgers and hand-cut fries; and Nosh, which features homemade sandwiches and fresh pastries.

“We have really great restaurants to eat at,” Bendel says. There will also be lots of concessions, food and drinks available outside at the track, he says.

The racetrack is where the live horse racing takes place every Thursday through Sunday starting April 28, says Bendel. Belterra Park Gaming will have eight races on the day of the Kentucky Derby with the first race starting at 1:20 p.m., he says.

The racetrack was originally opened in 1925 as Coney Island Race Track and later renamed River Downs Race Track. It now features a 1-mile dirt track and a 7/8-mile turf track, the only turf track in the state.

For those who can’t make the Kentucky Derby party on May 6 the Kentucky Derby party actually goes on all week before the Kentucky Derby with events and promotions, says Bendel.

 “We’re looking to build a Cincinnati tradition and celebrate the Kentucky Derby,” says Bendel. “You’ll love it.” 

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