You don’t want to get voted off the island … in the case of Derby, your stuff confiscated. Best way to avoid that is to avoid bringing the wrong things. For a detailed list of items allowed/not allowed, check the Derby website at under the heading Plan Your Visit.

May weather in Kentucky can range from sunny and hot to cold and drizzly … and anything in between. Since umbrellas are on the no-go list, be ready to protect your outfit and hat from a pop-up shower with a light weight, plastic rain poncho you’ve tucked in your purse. Can’t find one before leaving for the race? Think garbage bags … cheap, readily available and effective.

You’re rocking the stilettos … they look great but they’re lethal on Churchill’s cobblestones and other uneven terrain. First of all, be careful … you don’t want to spend race day in the ER with a broken ankle. Secondly, have a pair of soft, fold-up ballet flats in your bag to change into for more sure-footed navigation.

Speaking of purses … the rule is 12” maximum in any direction. Plan to pack it accordingly with sample versions of things or onesie-twosies. A couple of band-aids, a lip balm, a sunscreen stick. Individually- wrapped stain remover wipes. A small medicine container for any meds you need to have with you, plus things like aspirin or ibuprophen. Makeup can take up a lot of room … limit it to small versions of what you feel you need with you the most.

Best way to survive the day? Relax, stay in the moment and enjoy yourself, the crowd, the horses, the camaraderie … savor the whole experience.