Keep track of the season's festivities with your guide to Louisville's 2012 Kentucky Derby parties [Horse racing]

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It's true that, next to Mammoth Cave and George Clooney, the Kentucky Derby is probably the state's most recognized claim to fame. Equally renowned is the two-week blow-out Louisville throws to honor this timeless sporting event. The best advice for hopeful partiers, therefore, is to pace oneself: you'll want to race longer than three minutes to optimize your own Derby experience.

​Photos: Courtesy of Kathy Ryan, louisville.about.com, and Apassionata. Cover photo: Zach Everson.