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Personal Styln special addition…What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby?


Spring – Summer

Thoroughbred Racing Season Attire Tips


The exciting Spring/Summer Thoroughbred Horse Racing Season is upon us, so for those of you attending one of these prestigious events, you want to make sure you look your Winning Best!  I have been very fortunate to have been able to attend most of these amazing races, and though I was usually very nervous rooting for my husband to have a safe and hopefully successful trip to the Finish Line, I would always find myself admiring the unparalleled beauty on display at     the Major Thoroughbred Races  around the world.  From the majestic beauty of the magnificent four-legged stars of the event, the colorful silks worn by the courageous jockeys, and the fabulous attire worn by almost all of those attending, it is difficult to put into words the breathtaking moments captured in my memory throughout the years.  But one thing I can share with all of you is some of the Do’s and Don’ts I have learned which can hopefully help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made along with some of my Winning Moments!  I’ve added my “Two-Cents” to the information I’ve gathered below to hopefully help you fret less while packing, and enable you to create your own special memories of these sensational events.

 Enjoy!  Suzee


Womens  Derby Attire:

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The Kentucky Derby is a chance for every female to express her inner Southern Belle

so take note and don’t hold back when planning your Derby fashion!

Womens  Derby Attire:

One of the truly unique characteristics of the Kentucky Derby, and its sister event, the Kentucky Oaks, is that they are sports parties that showcase the finest in spring fashions. Both female and male attendees pull out all of the stops when selecting their Kentucky Derby and Oaks apparel.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Derby dressing, in part because what you wear has much to do with where you plan to spend the day. In the reserved seating areas (grandstand, clubhouse, suites and corporate hospitality areas), ladies typically wear spring dresses, pastel-colored suits, or bold separates that coordinate with their Derby headwear and accessories.

The Kentucky Derby is a chance for every female to express her inner Southern Belle so take note and don’t hold back when planning your Kentucky Derby wardrobe!

When selecting your dress for the Kentucky Derby the recommended practice is to keep it simple, so it doesn’t take away from your hat. You can also let the color and excitement of spring inspire you and select a dress full of color, or floral or equine patterns.  And remember to dress in layers, the Kentucky Derby is an outdoor event and the weather can be hard to predict.


Wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is believed to bear good luck! The long-established fashion was started by the women, however, over the last few years, many men have taken part in the tradition as well. Wearing a hat is much like getting into costume, you might be pleasantly surprised to see what type of character you become. From the fantastic to the sublime, there are no rules or limits. In the clubhouse and paddock, women of grace and taste sport classy, fashionable styles. In the infield, the headwear has a tendency to take on a zanier character.



Some of my favorite hat moments!   

As you can see, I have re-invented many of my hats by adding

new  colorful flowers,

ribbons, feathers or just changed my attire…




Within the seated sections of Churchill Downs, you will find hats of elegance and style. Generally speaking, women wear wide-brimmed, “Southern Belle” inspired Kentucky Derby hats. The hats can be decorated with flowers, feathers, bows and ribbons of any color to express creativity and individuality. Men’s Derby hats are generally solid in color and inspired by the style from the 1920s.

In the Churchill Downs Infield, hats are a bit more eccentric!


You will see hats in all shapes and sizes, as well as some hats exuding humorous themes!

Sure you can have a custom hat created if you want to splurge, but you can also make an elegant hat using materials from around the house and garden. Not to mention make a visit to your local craft shop for your decorating needs. This will create a buzz with your friends and family, perhaps even win a contest!


A more recent trend in Kentucky Derby headwear is the fascinator. Smaller than a traditional hat and just as stylish, this piece of headwear has become more popular among Kentucky Derby attendees over recent years. Recently popularized by Kate Middleton, these chic, headpieces are made from a woven disc topped with feathers and netting and secured to your head via a comb or headband. They can be simpler to wear than a hat, and won’t give you hat hair!

Dress or Hat – Which Comes First?
You can exhale – there are two answers here!

Some will say that you absolutely get the outfit first. Then you design your hat to go with the outfit.

(The argument here is that it’s easier to custom design a hat than to “make” an outfit to go with a hat!)

Then there are those who say that you must definitely purchase, create or design your hat before picking out the outfit.

Most often in this case, matching the dress (or outfit) to your hat involves personal preference, however, keep a few things in mind in getting dressed:

* If your hat is having a pattern party, keep the dress design simple.
* If the hat is simple and elegant, keep the outfit simple also for a classy look.
* If you want a funky outfit, keep it consistent and accent the hat most of all!
* If you have long hair, showcase a ponytail slightly to side or keep it down to one side to highlight the color on your face. Or opt for a French Twist,..pull out a few trendles!

* **Make sure you wear the hat and the hat doesn’t wear you…try to choose a hat the compliments your face shape and size.  You definitely do not want to be overpowered by a huge hat if you’re extremely tiny. And remember…there are THOUSANDS of patrons everywhere.  It is difficult to move even if you had on sneakers and a baseball cap.  Now put on 5-inch heels and a huge gorgeous hat and try to make your way through the crowd.  Try to look gorgeous, but choose wisely so you enjoy the day!

You will find lots of debate on this subject– so finally the NO answer is THE answer!

(And remember ladies…you will get Hat Hair…especially after a Long Hot Day!…Do prepare!

Unless you wear a fascinator…look for more Derby Survival Tips at the end of this article)


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Men’s  Derby Attire:

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How to choose the right suit or jacket for you build?

 How to tie a tie?  Plus many other helpful hints…visit our Men’s Trends page …

click ↓ here


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Party Idea – Best Dressed Hat Contest

If you’re having a Kentucky Derby Party, consider having a Best Dressed hat contest.

Celebrate your guests’ efforts with the following categories:

* Biggest Hat
* Best Derby Inspired
* Best Men’s Hat


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My hubby Jerry’s 2nd Belmont win

with Empire Maker in 2003…

yes, that’s Bethany Frankel,

her dad  Bobby trained this amazing horse.



Hall of Fame Trainer Bill Mott

and his Beautiful wife Tina at Ascot 2017

Royal Ascot 

The Royal Meeting at Ascot

is where you don’t hold back at all when it comes to STYLN!

 I was amazed at how not only the women but the men

show up for this historical event looking FABULOUS!

 There are fashion rules that must be abided at this meet,

especially if you are fortunate to get to sit

in the Royal Enclosure.

Below are a few of the Fashion Rules to help you pack,

and not look like a Yankee!



Purchasing Details for these beautiful Fascinators

click ↓ here 

  • Pippa & Pearl

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And don’t forget the weather can be cool and rainy!


There is no better place to show off the styles of this season than Louisville Kentucky on the first Saturday in May, or throughout the entire Thoroughbred Horse Racing  Summer Season.   Since 1875, fashion has been a major focus for both men and women at the Kentucky Derby, the first jewel of the Triple Crown.  Though you will see a rainbow of colors on both men and women all weekend long, the primary color on Friday is pink, in honor of PINK OUT, and the fight against Breast and Ovarian Cancer, and Pastels on Saturday with the main focus being on your fabulous hat!

 You’ll see pale yellows, 50 shades of blue, lavender and pink on display on both men and women.   But your statement piece on both days is your show stopping hat!  From large floppy hats to fascinators, you will see a vast variety of styles on display.  So when choosing your weekend Derby Style, start with the hat, and everything else is secondary.

 Not sure where to purchase your hat?  My suggestion…downtown Louisville.  Many of the local hotels like the Hyatt on 4th, or The Brown, or the Seelbach Hilton, have millenary boutiques set up in their lobbies.  You can either choose from their large assortment of gorgeous hats and fascinators they have on display, or bring your own hat, and allow them to work their magic and turn your ordinary hat into a masterpiece that matches your outfit!  That’s what I did last year…as you can see in pictures below…and plan on doing the same this year.  Just remember that you are going to have to get that beauty back home.  If you don’t have a hat box or bag for airline travel, the hotel will ship your hat home for you.  

As for the rest of your outfit…just remember to keep it classy, comfortable, and cool since the weather can very warm on occasion.  And since it’s spring, check the weather for possible showers or cool weather. ( I also bring a pair of flip-flops or flats in my purse to rescue my aching feet after a long day in heels.)

If you find you need some help with your Racing attire, contact us at:

Our goal is to not only help you look fabulous, at affordable prices,

but to have fun in the process.


You don’t have to spend a fortune to look like a million dollars!

 Have a priceless day by making wonderful memories…

Your memories will withstand the test of time….

  Enjoy! Suzee






It’s Post Time!


Table of Discussion with

2 time Kentucky Derby, Preakness,

and Belmont Stakes Winner 

Jerry Bailey, and me, his wife Suzee,

who will bring you up-to-date thoroughbred horseracing news

on all the big races and events throughout


And don’t forget to share your favorite picks or questions

in the comment area below…

or visit Jerry or Suzee on Twitter or Facebook!


or email us at:


Memory Lane! 

Kentucky Derby 2018

         Kentucky Derby 2018

 It’s a very competitive Derby field this year and I think there is a very little separation between the top five.

The likely favorite heading into Churchill Downs for the most exciting two minutes in sports will be the lightly raced, but brilliant colt named Justify. Trained by four-time Derby winner Bob Baffert(who also won the Triple Crown with American Pharoah in 2015), Justify has three wins in as many starts, with the most recent being his big win of the Santa Anita Derby over Bolt D’Oro.   Justify would become the first horse since  Apollo, in 1882, to win the Kentucky Derby without having raced as a two-year-old.

Mendelssohn is the favorite in Europe but likely the second choice here in America based upon his brilliant 18 ½ length victory in the United Arab Emirates Derby held in Dubai back on March 31 in track record time. He like Justify will race close to the lead early and post position draw will be crucial. Both of these two colts are several lengths faster than the next group which includes Vino Rosso, Audible, Magnum Moon and Bolt D’Oro.

Vino Russo may attract a lot of attention as well based upon his recent win in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct race track in New York as well as his trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez who teamed up to win last year’s Derby with Always Dreaming. Vino Russo typically comes from mid-pack and the distance of the derby will be to his liking. This colt by Curlin was very highly thought of in January but was a bit disappointing in his Florida campaign. His win in the Wood Memorial while running widest of all on both turns, reinforced his connection’s earlier opinions of his talent level.

Audible is another from the Todd Pletcher barn and his win in the Florida Derby surely makes him a threat. He has great tactical speed and can adjust to whatever the pace scenario is which is a huge advantage is a twenty horse field. Watching him run through the middle of the race never leads you to believe he will win because the rider is almost always pushing for a little more run, however, when he hits the stretch he seems to find his best gear. His jockey Javier Castellano has been voted the top American jockey for four of the last five years but is winless in his eleven Derby rides. My biggest concern with this youngster is his ability to get better with the added furlong of the Kentucky Derby.

Good Magic is last year’s two-year-old champion based on his win in the Breeders Cup Juvenile and is fresh off a win in the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland race track based in Lexington Ky. Good Magic, like Audible, has good tactical speed and be placed wherever his jockey Jose Ortiz desires. Ortiz and trainer Chad Brown both won individual titles in 2017 as tops trainer and jockey respectively so the connections are outstanding.

Magnum Moon like Justify is also undefeated after his win in the Arkansas Derby. Since the early pace was slow, he went straight to the lead and won by four lengths however he drifted out badly in the final furlong which is some cause for concern. Since he has never been worse than 4thearly in his races, he will certainly be able to get a decent position early in the Derby.

Bolt D’Oro was the odds-on favorite in last year’s Breeders Cup juvenile but finished third after a very wide trip and should have finished closer with a better trip. He has finished second in his two starts this year to really good horses. First to McKinzie in the San Felipe (even though he was awarded the victory due to interference in the stretch), and then the brilliant Justify in the recent Santa Anita Derby. His sire Medaglia D’Oro is one of the hottest in the country and that heritage will certainly help him be better at the added distance in Kentucky.

Hofburg is another with very limited experience(only three races) but unlike Justify, he did race as a two-year-old. His second-place finish to Audible in the Florida Derby was a huge improvement in form and another giant leap forward would give him a chance at a placing.

Stayed tuned for more update,


Kentucky Derby Prep Season


Charts & Analysis
9/16/17 Iroquois 1 1/16M
Churchill Downs
The Tabulator 76 10 4 2 1  Analysis
9/30/17 FrontRunner 1 1/16M
Santa Anita
Bolt d’Oro 103 10 4 2 1   Analysis
10/7/17 Champagne 1M
Firenze Fire 90 10 4 2 1  Analysis
10/7/17 Breeders’ Futurity 1 1/16M
Free Drop Billy 79 10 4 2 1  Analysis
11/4/17 BC Juvenile 1 1/16M 
Del Mar
Good Magic 100 20 8 4 2  Analysis
11/25/17 Kentucky Jockey Club 1 1/16M
Churchill Downs
Enticed 81 10 4 2 1  Analysis
12/2/17 Remsen 1 1/8M
Catholic Boy 91 10 4 2 1  Analysis
12/9/17 Los Alamitos Futurity 1 1/16M
Los Alamitos
McKinzie 91 10 4 2 1  Analysis
12/17/17 Springboard Mile  1 mile
Remington Park
Greyvitos 88 10 4 2 1  Analysis
1/6/18 Sham 1M
Santa Anita
McKinzie 97 10 4 2 1  Analysis
1/13/18 Lecomte 1M 70 yds
Fair Grounds
Instilled Regard 92 10 4 2 1  Analysis
1/13/18 Jerome 1 mile
Firenze Fire 85 10 4 2 1  Analysis
1/15/18 Smarty Jones 1M
Oaklawn Park
Mourinho 99 10 4 2 1  Analysis
2/3/18 Withers 1 1/8M
Avery Island 87 10 4 2 1  Analysis
2/3/18 Holy Bull 1 1/16M
Audible 99 10 4 2 1 Analysis
2/3/18 Robert B. Lewis 1 1/16M
Santa Anita
Lombo 86 10 4 2 1  Analysis
2/10/18 Sam F. Davis 1 1/16M
Tampa Bay Downs
Flameaway 92 10 4 2 1 Analysis
2/17/18 Risen Star 1 1/16M
Fair Grounds
Bravazo 93 50 20 10 5  Analysis
2/17/18 El Camino Real Derby 1 1/8M
Golden Gate
Paved 86 10 4 2 1  Analysis
2/19/18 Southwest 1 1/16M
Oaklawn Park
My Boy Jack 93 10 4 2 1  Analysis

Kentucky Derby Championship Series

Charts & Analysis
3/3/18 Fountain of Youth 1 1/16M
Promises Fulfilled 96 50 20 10 5  Analysis
3/10/18 Gotham 1M
Enticed 95 50 20 10 5  Analysis
3/10/18 Tampa Bay Derby 1 1/16M
Tampa Bay Downs
Quip 94 50 20 10 5  Analysis
3/10/18 San Felipe 1 1/16M
Santa Anita
Bolt d’Oro 101 50 20 10 5  Analysis
3/17/18 Rebel 1 1/16M
Oaklawn Park
Magnum Moon 97 50 20 10 5  Analysis
3/17/18 Jeff Ruby Steaks 1 1/8M
Turfway Park 
Blended Citizen  83 20 8 4 2  Analysis
3/24/18 Louisiana Derby 1 1/8M      Fair Grounds Noble Indy 95
04/15/2018 01:10 PM

Derby field set, with 39 points needed for a final berth

Susie Raisher
Firenze Fire slipped into the Kentucky Derby field after Runaway Ghost bowed out with an injury.

With Saturday’s final two Road to the Kentucky Derby races, plus the defection of Sunland Derby winner Runaway Ghost owing to injury, the potential Derby field is now set, with the current bottom level for making the 20-horse field a record 39 points.

The Kentucky Derby is May 5 at Churchill Downs.

Much can and likely will change over the next two-plus weeks, but at the moment Firenze Fire is 20th on the list with 39 points. Combatant, ranked 21st with 32 points, is on the bubble.

If there are no defections from the current points list, the 39 points needed to make the field would be the most required in the six years since Churchill Downs switched to a points system.

The Arkansas Derby and Lexington Stakes on Saturday both proved critical to determining the Derby field, with at least two horses securing berths.

Solomini moved into the Derby field with the 20 points he picked up for a third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby behind one-two finishers Magnum Moon and Quip, who already were safely in the Derby field owing to prior victories in the Rebel and Tampa Bay Derby, respectively. Solomini has 54 points.

At Keeneland, the 20 points earned by My Boy Jack for his victory in the Lexington Stakes vaulted him into the top 20, with 52 points.

Magnum Moon got a Beyer Speed Figure of 98, while My Boy Jack got a 90.

Magnum Moon is one of four colts trainer Todd Pletcher has in the Derby field, along with Audible, Noble Indy, and Vino Rosso. Those four, collectively, won the Arkansas Derby, Florida Derby, Louisiana Derby, and Wood Memorial, making Pletcher the first trainer to win four of the six biggest final Derby preps – along with the Santa Anita Derby and Blue Grass Stakes – in the same year with four different horses.

There are 19 horses in the top 20 who qualified through the traditional, 35-race Road to the Kentucky Derby schedule, which began last Sept. 16 with the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill and concluded with the Arkansas Derby. The 20th spot is reserved for Gronkowski, who secured his berth via the inaugural, seven-race, European Road to the Kentucky Derby schedule, which carved out a spot for the horse who topped that stand-alone points list.

A maximum of 20 horses can run in the Kentucky Derby. At entry time on May 1, however, up to four also-eligibles also can be entered, their order based on points. They can make the field, in that order, if is there is a defection from the 20-horse field by scratch time at 9 a.m. Eastern on May 4, the day before the Derby. After that, the field is set.

Immediately following the Arkansas Derby and Lexington, it appeared Firenze Fire would be the bubble horse, but he moved back into the top 20 owing to Runaway Ghost – who had 50 points – emerging from a workout on Saturday at Sunland Park with an apparent hairline fracture to his right front cannon bone.

“We can see a small line there,” said his trainer, Todd Fincher. “Right after the workout he was fine. During the cool-out period he started being off. We took X-rays and he had a little profile on the shin – a faint sign.”

Fincher said Runaway Ghost will undergo more diagnostics.  Runaway Ghost is expected to return to racing following a recovery period. Runaway Ghost was scheduled to fly to Kentucky on Tuesday.

“He’ll heal up 100 percent,” Fincher said. “We hate to miss this because everybody is so excited for the owners to live the dream, run in the Kentucky Derby. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Runaway Ghost races for his breeder, Joe Peacock.

“He earned his way in, things didn’t work out,” Fincher said. “We know he’s good enough to compete.”

Steve Asmussen, who trains Combatant, was in no hurry on Sunday morning to make a decision on the Derby regarding Combatant, who is one defection away from making the field.

Combatant, who finished fourth in the Arkansas Derby, was scheduled to join Asmussen’s string at Churchill Downs regardless of his finish on Saturday, as Asmussen is based at Churchill Downs after the close of Oaklawn and Fair Grounds, where he has strings during the winter.

“It’s easy for me because I’m at Churchill,” Asmussen said. “No decision yet. Right now we’re just petting him.”

Asmussen recalled that last year, “Lookin At Lee was 22nd on Monday of Derby Week, and on Saturday he ran second,” a reminder of how much can change over the next two-plus weeks.

–additional reporting by Mary Rampellini