Run for the Roses!

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August 5, 2013

KY_DerbyLast stop… the Kentucky Derby! Perhaps the ‘most exciting two minutes in sports history’ unfolds in an exquisite display of grand camaraderie, sporting rivalry and social behavior. Like no other event in the world of sports – thousands of spectators gather to express their personal style and ‘spectate’ others for a day of fancy hats, fine dress and mint juleps.

The tradition of fine fair and fancy wear began over 150 years ago as Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. envisioned a high society event that changed the face of horse racing history. More than 10,000 socialites gathered to partake in an event of 15 thoroughbreds contesting for this now worldly event… the Run for the Roses. Attracting the local prestige, globe-trotting celebrities and even ‘Royalty’ from across the pond – the Kentucky Derby is an event of social standing and sporting excitement.

Today, 150 years later, this spectacular race has grown to become one of the most sought after sporting extravaganzas and has turned into a week-long event of fun and activities. Those seeking refuge from the infield parties and the true ‘Derby’ experience find that access is not as simple as one had hoped… in fact it is downright impossible without a secret handshake and an exchange of funds that most would cower over.  Luckily there are options for those of us who own RVs’ and know how to make the most of a challenging situation. That’s where we find Good Sam’s Smile & Save partner Fantasy RV Tours – who make it not only possible, but downright easy for us to attend the Derby in style and involve yourself in seven days of action-packed events leading up to Race Day.

In the days before Derby there is much to see and do …all of which has made Louisville an exciting place to visit. Imagine a relaxing dinner cruise that takes you back-in-time aboard the Belle of Louisville – America’s last true Mississippi river steamboat. Celebrating its 100th year of operation in 2014 the Belle is the pride of the Ohio River and has treated nearly 7 million passengers to a True-Louisville experience. This grand welcome to the area’s activities is the perfect start to enliven your spirits… but we’ve come for the horses!

No worries, Fantasy RV has arranged tours, transportation and entertainment every step of the way. You are in for a treat at the Thoroughbred Center where a trainer will meet with you and walk you through the morning workout, you’ll visit the Kentucky Horse Park and have a Horse Drawn Carriage Tour at the Hall of Champions, experience the Parade of Breeds and enjoy live, local entertainment. And we’ve only just begun, for one of the most extraordinary experiences is taking in ‘Dawn at the Downs’ – where breakfast is served at Millionaires’ Row as you watch Derby contenders prepare for the big race. You’ll be treated to a tour of the Louisville historic district and fine dining at the Derby Playhouse – the theatrical entertainment leader of both Indiana and Kentucky – here the food is delicious and the productions are delightful. Naturally while in town, you will want to experience a behind the scenes tour of the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. You’ll see Major League bats in production and share in the history of baseball. Fantasy has even arranged for reserved seating for the Pegasus Day Parade and optional shuttle service for those who want to experience the ‘Lilies for the Fillies’ – otherwise known as the Kentucky Oaks Race.

This week of great fun concludes as the anticipated day arrives and you are escorted to reserved box seats on the 3rd level with spectacular views of this pristine track, the chaotic infield and the outrageous spectators… it’s Derby Day at Churchill Downs where the traditions are rich and so are the mint juleps. Arriving in your finest dress (or something comfortable – there is no dress code) and fanciest hat you’ll stroll with program in-hand and root for your pick for the Winners Circle. You will surprise yourself as you cheer your favorite contender across the line and celebrate the ‘most spectacular two minutes in sporting history’.

Keeping in the Derby Spirit, Fantasy RV Tours is offering Good Sam members a ‘double Smile & Save discount’ for those of us who book by September 15, 2013. The usual savings for Good Sam members is $50 on Fantasy RV Rallies – but this 2014 Kentucky Derby Rally is double the savings for this limited time… book early and save big. For more information visit: or call 800-453-9511

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