Call it a mashup. Cinco de Mayo and America’s most famous horse race are coming together Saturday at Turf Paradise’s Cinco de Derby.
The anniversary of Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla and the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby, May 5 is a fine time to check out the horse track, which is about a 30-minute drive from the East Valley.
A full card of live racing begins at 11:30 a.m. Surrounding the action on the track are hat and fashion contests with cash prizes, live music, and a family fun park with pony rides, face painting and bounce houses.
There’s also food and drink celebrating both cultures: Mint juleps ($6.50), margaritas ($6), barbeque and carne asada tacos will be available from nearly a dozen trackside food stands and bars.
The main event starts at 3:34 p.m., when the Derby will be simulcast on hundreds of screens.
The first 3,500 visitors through the gates get a free glass commemorating the race.
DETAILS >> Gates open at 7:15 a.m. Saturday; the first live race is at 11:30 a.m., and Kentucky Derby post time is 3:34 p.m. Turf Paradise, 1501 W. Bell Road, Phoenix. $5 admission. (602) 942-1101 or www.turfparadise.com.