The Ministry presents: A celebrity guide to Kentucky Derby 2010
Indulge in our guide to where celebrities will dine, raise funds for charity and play after hours -- even what big, fancy hats they'll be sporting in Louisville this weekend.
The kickoff: "Access Hollywood" beauty Maria Menounos hosted Ferdinand's Ball, where athletes and socials gathered Thursday evening to benefit the Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm. DJ Rob Sample spun tracks for the crowd, and Courtney Clark of the Food Network's "Ultimate Cake Off" whipped up a surprise dessert.
The VIP: New York nightspot Greenhouse will host a Kentucky satellite club with Grey Goose vodka to create the ultimate Derby den -- the Playboy Celebrity Lounge.
The gentleman's mag will begin hosting Friday evening at Louisville's Prime, with sounds from DJ Vice and doors remaining open until 6 a.m. Saturday. Greenhouse just hosted a pop-up in Sundance, which welcomed the likes of Bradley Cooper and Renee Zellweger.
The big race: The day of the Derby -- a race dubbed "the most exciting two minutes in sports" -- has all the pomp and circumstance we love. Meaning big hats. This year, Rebecca Romijn will don a custom hat to mark the occasion.
Commissioned by Grey Goose and designed by Ellen Christine, Romijn's cap will "complement her exquisite bone structure" and consist of horsehair and organic fibers in shades of white with blue accents.
The odds: Headed to the Derby and need some talking points for the good ol' boys? Having your own big hat party in celebration? We consulted handicapping expert Eric Wing from the NTRA, and his money is on Lookin' at Lucky.
"Lucky will prevail over the talented but green filly Devil May Care," Wing said.
And while we were at it, why not have him handicap some gossip for us, like ...
"A handicapper always likes to have the law of averages on his side, so I'm betting on Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. Identity of the mother is still anybody's guess."
And what about the next celeb to head down the aisle?
"Jennifer Aniston had her 'race over the track' in the marriage game, and now she can learn from her mistakes and get things right," Wing said.
"It shouldn't be long before a top-class catch like her picks a winner."
Kentucky Derby coverage starts at 1 p.m. PDT on NBC; post time for the race is 3:34 p.m. PDT.
-- Matt Donnelly
Top photo: Women don festive hats at the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Credit: Associated Press.
Photo at right: Rebecca Romijn in 2006. Credit: Getty Images