Just decided due to circumstances that I am gonna fulfill a bucket list item and see a Kentucky Derby, in person. Being as there is no middle ground at the track (or Louisville) things are either very cheap/non-existant (no motels or $400 hotels) or $400 seats or $40 infield, I went with the infield and found a Motel6 in Lexington 90 miles out for 56/night. A friend may roll with me if his wife lets him out (guys day out) or I may end up doing it solo. But I am doing it come hell or high water, either way. If time, on Sunday I may do the Buffalo Trace distillery tour. After booking all, I then found out I may have bitten off more than I can chew. First, the infield. Looks to be Woodstock with horses. Fistfights, drunken pukers, mud wrestling, a redneck wet dream. I had suspected it be a little spicey but that horse racing would attract a more civilized bunch even on the lower end being, well, the KY Derby. Apparently not. But the ticket also covers all standing room only including the paddock area so I can prolly take some great pictures and hang out to enjoy the race without attending Animal House. Well, if it's not too bad I could walk thru... I got nothing against a drink or three, maybe a julep for tradition and I love bourbon, but I have to keep it restrained if I'm gonna drive 90 miles after its over back to my motel. Some questions for the vets who've done this event: 1.Can I survive this, or is the infield a complete combat zone? There's no tents allowed this year, and on a guess people were setting them up and having sexytime in the middle of the field and perhaps out of hand. But I'm just guessin. 2. Parking: I'm seein stories about people charging an arm and a leg to park on their lawn in the nearby neighborhood, giving the impression the standard parking lot is insufficient to hold the crowd and if I ain't there at the crack of dawn I could be in for an adventure. Or worse, maybe parking somewhere I might not be comfortable. 3. Churchill Downs neighborhood: Not all tracks are located in the nicest areas. Despite the prestigious heritage, hows the neighborhood around the track? Safe? Crime infested? I know there will probably be the usual degenerate gamblers mixed in with the civilized crowd and I should watch out for pickpockets and thieves, though I've never had a problem at any track don't want this to be the first. 4. Louisville, generally: Howzit? Places to avoid? Must sees while I'm there? Tricks and tips on dealing with it? Local attitudes? Crime? There are plenty of cops around by the Flickr photostreams so I'm sure its somewhat controlled but rather than guess .what say those in the know and having visited this great American tradition? Any advice, related experiences, etc are appreciated.