I have put together an inspiration board as you can see. Writing of that: What is the story is on polyvore.com? Why are these boards so small and fuzzy when they are vibrant and well-sized before they are exported from the tool? It is a smidge frustrating. For those who do not know what polyvore is: Think of it as virtual scissors, glue, and poster board only in a community where you have to share everything you clip. Like preschool, only more absurd.
Here is a bit of pretty paper for your planning, new this year and most importantly, none of them showing a crop raised above a horse: One of the many things about horse racing the Hostess despises.
Understated, elegant, and with a little sparkle though the font lacks polish and sophistication. Otherwise fabulous and available here.
Artistic and nostalgic. Available here.
Iconic and layered with tradition. Available here.
You will need a bottle of Woodford Reserve, the official julep Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. And if you are a sharp cookie it will be the Limited Edition, 2009, 135th Anniversary bottle. Read about this at Luxist. You'll want to have this on hand in order to be a winning party giver or if your horse is a loser.
Now some reference books on the subject: Do not be afraid of an older book, this event is steeped in tradition and so what is 20 years now, 135 years later?
Derby Entertaining by M.Stone Dobbs available here.
Hospitality Kentucky Style by Michael Edwards Masters can be found here (for $1.97 used!).
The Kentucky Mint Julep, by Joe Nickell is available here.
Resources for your planning:
Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby Party Planning Resource, I kid you not.
Official Derby Party Website including historic recipes as well as Bobby Flay's.
Don't forget the Hostess if you pick the trifecta, remember to drink and gamble responsibly and generally not at the same time, and have a great one.