Ranking the Top 10 Most Memorable Celebrity Appearances at the Kentucky Derby

At the Kentucky Derby, famous people go all out. They certainly keep things interesting, whether through their eccentric costume or their ludicrously high wagers on the race itself.

Since 1875, Churchill Downs has served as the venue for the event, and 2022 is already shaping up to be a remarkable year with more well-known individuals expected to attend.

Celebrities that attend the Kentucky Derby usually stand out from the crowd in several ways. Even though they are already some of the most well-known individuals on the planet, they continue to draw attention to themselves by donning outrageous clothes, sometimes complemented by absurdly big hats.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the most notable celebrities to attend the Kentucky Derby in the past, whether it was due to their attire, the amount of money they wagered, or even just their extreme fame.

Zoe Saldana (2007)

Zoe Saldana belongs to the group of those who wore big hats to the Kentucky Derby. The well-known actress donned a baby blue-coloured bucket style that resembled a witch’s hat.

Her appearance in the 1999 Law & Order episode “Refuge: Part 2” helped her acting career significantly. The year 2000 film “Center Stage” gave Saldana her debut performance. In her early acting career, she shared the screen with celebrities like Nick Cannon and Britney Spears (Crossroads, 2002). (Drumline, 2002).

From there, she obtained parts in Star Trek (2009) as Nyota Uhura, The Terminal (2004) as Dolores Torres, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) as Anamaria.

Her most well-known character to this day is Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy. She made a statement with her Kentucky Derby dress in 2007.

Johnny Knoxville (2018)

One of the funniest people on the planet is, without a doubt, Johnny Knoxville. He has many different methods to catch your attention, and he did it at the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

“I’ve always wanted to attend the Kentucky Derby, and this year, with a movie coming out, it’s a beautiful excuse.

Funny enough, Knoxville took over as the bartender at a bar that year. He went to the event to spread the word about the movie “Action Point,” which was based on the craziest amusement park ever.

The “Jackass” actor didn’t perform any outrageous and perilous tricks at the Kentucky Derby, but I wouldn’t have been shocked to see him mount a horse mid-race or something.

He continues to be pure entertainment and has no intention of slowing down any time soon. Keep an eye on what he does next; he even recently made a debut on Wrestlemania 38.

Ashton Kutcher (2012)

Even though Ashton Kutcher has made several visits to the Kentucky Derby, his from 2012 seems to stand out the most. He got into a small argument with Miranda Lambert, a famous country singer, who said he was making fun of the genre.

When Lambert tweeted that he was kind, their feud was finally put to rest.

One of the many things that Kutcher does that is noteworthy is when he briefly irritates Miranda Lambert. He is an actor, model, producer, and businessman, but that profession stands out more than other Kentucky Derby celebrities.

Kutcher is still advancing his liberal viewpoints nowadays. He’s also one of the most well-known figures in the cryptosphere, so perhaps you’ll see him betting on the Kentucky Derby again soon.

Aaron Rodgers (2021)

Aaron Rodgers is one of the athletes who frequently makes the news, recently a little more than usual. When he went to the 2021 Kentucky Derby, nothing altered. He has participated in the Kentucky Derby before, and this will not be his last time.

He wore a pin that said “Turd Ferguson” on it in the year 2021. The name was inspired by the late comedian Norm Macdonald, who would adopt Turd Ferguson as his stage character and dress absurdly hat-sized as if attending the Kentucky Derby.

In 2021, Rodgers went to the Kentucky Derby with Shailene Woodley, his ex-fiance. After posing as an environmental activist and attending the derby, Woodley faced much criticism.

With Woodley wearing a bright pink and a brilliant blue hat, it was a particularly memorable performance for the pair, who were a power couple at the time. The derby hat worn by Aaron Rodgers was stylish as well.

Jerry Rice, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri (2021)

How about a captivating image of three famous people—Jerry Rice, Giada De Laurentiis, and Guy Fieri—at the Kentucky Derby? Although it’s an intriguing mixture, two Kentucky Derby celebrities are experienced at doing so.

Guy Fieri, the mayor of FlavorTown, posed for a photo alongside Jerry Rice, a Hall of Fame wide receiver, and Giada De Laurentiis, a well-known chef, author, and TV personality.

In terms of receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions in the NFL, Rice is the all-time leader. He is frequently recognized as the most excellent wide receiver in NFL history and with good cause.

Fieri, one of the most well-known chefs in the entire world, signed a record-breaking $80 million, three-year contract with the Food Network.

Even while De Laurentiis’ Italian dishes aren’t as known as those of Fieri, they made for a great photo when they attended the Kentucky Derby in 2021 alongside Jerry Rice.

Mattress Mack (2021)

With the highest wager ever, Mattress Mack changed the course of the Kentucky Derby. He frequently combines a promotion at his furniture company with his interest in sports betting.

If Essential Quality won the Kentucky Derby in 2021, everyone who purchased a mattress costing $3,000 or more would receive a full refund.

In 2021, he wagered a total of $4 million in the hopes of making $8 or $12 million. Before the race, Essential Quality had won all five of its previous contests.

However, Mack placed an additional $4.5 million wager on Super Bowl 56. It is not surprising to see him wager several million dollars on the Kentucky Derby, given his reputation for such enormous stakes.

You can wager however much you want at the top Kentucky Derby betting sites. However, I doubt you have the same sum of money to wager on the race.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan, a former NBA star, is another well-known gambler who has attended the Kentucky Derby.

Jordan frequently found himself debating over who was the greatest basketball player of all time, or perhaps the finest athlete of all time, during the race’s history.

It is not at all surprising that Jordan was sighted at the Kentucky Derby, given his well-known propensity for gambling. The six-time NBA champion has a long history of gambling scandals, but the billionaire is financially secure.

It’s unclear exactly how much he wagered or won on the Kentucky Derby, but I’m speculating that it might be less than you think. He might, however, be a little more preoccupied right now with the opening round of the 2022 NBA playoffs.

He currently serves as the chairman and primary owner of the Charlotte Hornets and is the owner of the NASCAR 23XI Racing team. That demonstrates his passion for racing. Therefore Jordan attending the Kentucky Derby is not at all weird.

Tom Brady (2021)

The seven-time NFL champion quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former New England Patriots, Tom Brady, comes to mind when discussing the greatest of all time. Brady has been in the spotlight for more than just his decision to leave the NFL.

His participation in the Kentucky Derby in 2021 was noteworthy primarily because he inspired several memes.

Tom Brady “is looking like he’s attempting to pay me to steal Willy Wonka’s secret recipes,” one tweeter wrote. “Tom Brady is dressed like he’s going to kill Roger Rabbit and the rest of Toontown.”

His appearance might have made people chuckle rather than be in awe of him, but anything that gets a crowd going is noteworthy.

Brady has appeared at the Kentucky Derby multiple times, so his appearance in 2021 will likely stand out more than previous appearances.

Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner (2009)

The Kardashian/Jenner family is among the most well-known in the world. In 2009, Kim Kardashian and “momager” Kris Jenner attended the Kentucky Derby.

They had to appear wearing their incredibly stylish hats because they are some of the biggest icons in the fashion world.

Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner displayed impeccable coordination with various arrangements of black, white, grey, pink, and other colours. With ribbons on their big hats and gigantic sunglasses, they finished the look.

The grey chapeau with an LWD hat, designed by Ariane Azarpira, supposedly started a significant trend at the time.

The most prominent Kentucky Derby celebs, the megastars, could make another fashion statement. Still, Kim is likely more preoccupied with her split from Kanye West and her new relationship with Pete Davidson.

Do you think Pete and Kanye will resolve their issues? Check out the odds for a boxing battle between Kanye West and Pete Davidson.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (2007)

Who do you consider to be the biggest Kentucky Derby celebrities in history? How about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Attending one of, if not the most renowned racing events in the world, was a dream come true for the Queen.

Regarding the greatest celebrities at the Kentucky Derby, royalty undoubtedly wins.

All told, the Kentucky Derby has welcomed a plethora of famous people over the years. This list is only a tiny portion of the customers and high rollers, and it will keep expanding year.

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