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Down & Derby

The top 5 best Derby parties in the U.S. by Matador Network, was featured in Forbes Magazine.

Down & Derby

Down & Derby, which has been ranked one of the top 5 best Derby parties in the U.S. by Matador Network, was featured in Forbes Magazine.

“Down & Derby” emerges as a premier event, heralded as one of the top five Derby Day parties in USA. Nestled in the heart of the city’s vibrant cultural scene, this illustrious event seamlessly blends tradition with contemporary flair, captivating attendees with its electrifying ambiance and unparalleled celebration of which has been ranked one of the top 5 best Derby parties in the U.S. by Matador Network.

Imbued with the spirit of the iconic race, Down & Derby invites guests into a world where Southern charm meets modern sophistication. From the moment guests step through the doors, they are enveloped in an atmosphere brimming with excitement and anticipation, as the unmistakable energy of Derby Day pulses through the venue.


Our tickets

21 + Age Allowed.
$6.00 parking available (with validation) at 100 High Street Garage. Validation stickers are available at Alewives Taproom.

Down & Derby benefits the Love Life Now Foundation an organization that promotes year-round domestic violence awareness and assists victims fleeing abusive situations with direct financial assistance.
Please consider making a donation:


High Street Place

100 High Street
Boston, MA 02110

A modern & stylish food hall located in Boston. Featuring hip eateries, cocktail spots and dessert shops. HSP also offers the largest video screen in all of Downtown making it the perfect location to watch the most exciting 2 minutes in sports!

2019 Recap

“Down & Derby” was a vibrant and dynamic event hosted by the Laura Ladd in 2019, encapsulating the essence of community, fun, and philanthropy. Held in the heart of Boston, this annual fundraiser brought together individuals from all walks of life to support the crucial mission of ending domestic violence.


Laura Ladd

Event Chairwoman

Gustavo Leon


Coleen Galvin Yaroshenko

Managing Designer


Courtney Cole

CBS News Boston Anchor

Kristina Tsipouras Miller

Founder of Boston Business Women

Dr. Neda Hovaizi

Founder of Lumiere Dental Spa

Celebrity Guests Appearances

Miss Massachusetts USA 2024

Miss Maine USA 2024

2024 Entertainment

Green Carpet

Spring has sprung! Guests will be welcome in style with a garden party entrance, step & repeat with photo opp and live entertainment.

Interview on the green carpet with our very own “Bookie”!

Brian Vincent is a hilarious RI based comedian. This seasoned veteran studied under the late Vaudeville Comic Billy Miller, he learned the “old school” way of show business. His quick wit, excellent timing and dry sense of humor make him a hit with any age group!

Louie Bello

Louie Bello is an American Boston-born singer and songwriter. He is also the former Sony ATV writer and Boston award winner who can be seen on venues around the country from Boston to Texas. He has written and performed with dozens of National Recording Artists and he is the writer and performer of the title song for the ESPN documentary, PUSH. He has performed in local and national music festivals, such as Boston Fest Red Gorilla Festival, SXSW, Phantom Gourmet’s Summer BBQ.

New England Red Velvet Steppers

The talented New England Red Velvet Steppers are going to be kicking off the event from 4-5PM!  We invite you to join them on the dance floor as they display their Chicago-style steppin’ skills. It’s fun! It’s engaging! Trust me – you will
not want to miss this.  Get there EARLY! 

Wagering Window

Bet on your horse, and you could win 50% of the pot!
How it works:
Purchase raffle tickets
Place them in the mason jar that represents the horse you think will win. (Hint: you can place tickets in all jars to increase your chances of winning!)
We will pick the winning ticket from the jar of the Kentucky Derby winning horse.
Love Life Now Foundation, Inc. will receive 50% of the total bets, and you will walk away with the rest!

Trumpet Performance by Sara Manning - Harvard University Band

Where The Excitement Begins!

Derby Games

All types of fun games to keep you entertained
* Cornhole
* Jumbo Jenga
* Pop-A-Shot
* Jumbo Connect Four

VIP Experience

Includes official Kentucky Derby swag & photo opportunities with Woodford Reserve.

*Complimentary Bourbon Tasting from 4:00 PM-5:00 PM.

*Only available to VIP guests

Watch The Race On a 28 Foot Video Wall

Experience the most exciting 2 minutes in sports on the largest video in all of downtown Boston.

Photo Booth

Come experience the always entertaining & memorable Photo Booth! Grab a prop, strike a pose and receive a beautiful keepsake photo to take home.
Sponsored by: Higs Tickets

Delicious Food

Please join us from 4PM – 7PM and enjoy complimentary passed hors & d’oeuvres & dessert on us

Door Prizes

Down & Derby attendees have a chance to win a FREE door prize for simply attending the event!

Hat Contest

Compete for the coveted titles and win a prize in one of three categories. Best Hat (ladies only), Best Dressed (men only) Most Creative (open to all)!

DJ & Dancing

This party is going LATE! From 7:00PM on our DJ JWALL will be spinning all kinds of music to bring you the most electric nightlife.


Event Chairs
Laura Ladd & LLN President – Lovern Gordon

4:00PM – 5:00PM Green Carpet entrance with entertainment and photo opp
4:00PM - 5:00PM Dance Performance Featuring The New England Red Velvet Steppers
4:00PM – 8:00PM Photo Booth & Derby Games
4:00PM – 6:30PM Live Music
4:00PM – 6:00PM Mock Betting. A chance to win a CASH prize via 50/50 Raffle
4:00PM – 7:00PM Complimentary Hors D’oeuvres & Dessert
5:30PM – Best Hat, Best Dressed & Most Creative Contest
6:15PM – Trumpet Player Performs Call To The Post
6:24PM – Post Time. Kentucky Derby Shown on a 28 Foot Video Wall
7:00PM – Mock Betting Winner Announced & Commencement Speech
7:00PM – LATE! Stay For The Afterparty. DJ & Dancing

Corporate Sponsors


John Higgins,Owner Higs Tickets ​


Maureen Ryan Financial Services

sponsor pic

Armand GibsonSal Steel Inc

Winner's Circle

Jeff Mucciarelli & Lauren Haidon

Judy Gordon

Galey and Nic Gravenstein

Mark and Mary Wise

Wendy London and Theresa Williams

2024 Sponsors & Partners

Previous Sponsors & Partners

Contact Us

Get in Touch

For questions or concerns, please email us

Contact Details

Copyright © 2023.  All rights reserved.Tax ID # (45-3580292)


Laura Ladd

Event Chairwoman

My name is Laura Ladd and on Saturday, May 4th, 2024, I am hosting Down & Derby, a Kentucky Derby themed event to raise funds for Love Life Now Foundation, a New England based organization, dedicated to promoting awareness and prevention against domestic violence through their initiatives.

A number of years ago I was a juror in a first degree murder case that involved domestic violence. The case left me heartbroken and wondering about the victim and the challenges she faced after leaving that abusive relationship. I decided to take action supporting women who struggle to connect with resources that allow them to move beyond crisis.

Down & Derby will be held at High Street Place with over 400 professionals from Greater Boston in attendance. The event is sophisticated, yet fun, to reflect the traditional sporting event’s stature, and the message is to support survivors of domestic violence right here in Boston. I hope you will join us for a memorable day to support this all-important cause!

Gustavo Leon


Fashion! Style! Creativity! Not only are these some of the best parts about Derby Day, they are also at the essence of our esteemed Emcee, Gustavo Leon.

Gustavo is no stranger to the runway, having emceed and judged both beauty pageants and fashion shows in the New England area for many years.

Leon has also modeled for design houses and he was awarded a proclamation by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for his achievements at the Boston Heraldand his contributions to the fashion/lifestyle community.

Gustavo also received the BIFI Boston Fashion Icon Award of 2017; the Fashion Achievement Award at the 2017 Boston Fashion Awards and the Stylist of the Year Award at both the 2019 and 2021 Boston Fashion Awards.


Coleen Galvin Yaroshenko

Managing Designer

Coleen Galvin Yaroshenko is owner of and lead designer for CoKo Couture . A Rhode Island Native, she attended Rhode Island School of Design and then went on to Massachusetts College of Art and Design to earn a BFA in Fashion Design. Coleen is also an accomplished Stand Up Comedian/Actor with appearances on Comedy Central and Body of Proof as well as in several television commercials. Between these two worlds, she has been able dedicate many hours supporting charities over the years , both national and local. These include The Special Olympics , The American Cancer Association, St. Jude’s Hospital, The American heart Association, The Gloria Gemma Foundation , The Global Autism Project, Sojourner House, the ASPCA , AIDS Care Ocean State and Love Life Now. dedicate many hours supporting charities over the years , both national and local. These include The Special Olympics , The American Cancer Association, St. Jude’s Hospital, The American heart Association, The Gloria Gemma Foundation , The Global Autism Project, Sojourner House, the ASPCA , AIDS Care Ocean State and Love Life Now.

Courtney Cole

Monday through Friday, Courtney Cole is an Anchor/Reporter for WBZ CBS News Boston.But on Saturday, May 4th —she’s all yours! She’ll be serving as one of your judges for High Street Place’s “Down and Derby” party!​

Cole joined the WBZ team in July 2022 and for the last nearly two years – the Chicago native has really been enjoying learning more about the history of Boston, the people, all the different neighborhoods and cultures—and what makes the city unique. Before arriving in Boston—Cole spent a significant part of her career in the South, and looks forward to celebrating all things Kentucky Derby, with you!

Kristina Tsipouras Miller

Kristina Tsipouras Miller is the proud Founder of Boston Business Women, the largest women’s networking group for Female Entrepreneurs in New England with over 45,000 Members.

She is also the Co-Founder of Moroccan Magic Organic Lip balms sold in Walgreens, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Amazon, JetBlue flights & over 20,000 stores nationwide.

She has won several Entrepreniral Awards and was nominated as one of Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 recipients. Kristina resides in Milton with her husband, 2 year old son & is due with a baby girl due in September.

Dr. Neda Hovaizi

Dr. Neda Hovaizi: Dentist. Aesthetics Expert. Serial Entrepreneur.Fashionista, Founder of Achieveaholics Anonymous™, and soon-to-be published author. Despite doing it all,Neda is clear that her worth isn’t defined by “doing.”

Neda’s anthem is that true “Beauty is an Illumination of Your Soul™” and that reaching all you’ve ever dreamed of comes first from journeying within. She has spent her life doing truly amazing things and wants other proud “achieveaholics” like her to know: real fulfillment, real happiness, true purpose and exponential growth await beyond the hamster wheel of being driven by achievement. A proud Persian mother and wife, healthcare provider, business owner, entrepreneur and thought leader – Neda believes everything is possible when you lead with love, grace and grit. Neda’s dental practice (Lumiere Dental Spa)and medspa (Lumi Aesthetics) are both located in historic Quincy, MA. And in her soon to be published book, she shares deeply personal vignettes that are both fun and profound.

She believes first and foremost in upholding integrity and excellence in everything you do, and offers empowering insights and tips on becoming the best, most fulfilled version of you.  Whether in dentistry, aesthetics or beyond, knowing Neda means being invited to step into your limitless power, to live out your dreams by “Embracing the Fountain of You™” 

Melissa Sapini, Miss Massachusetts USA 2024, professional model and television commercial actress is an entertainment television reporter of The New England Sports Network, show Dirty Water. With two years of experience reporting on Boston Pop culture. She’s currently pursuing a bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with a concentration in Broadcast at Suffolk University. Melissa has her sights set on becoming a E! News television correspondent.

Melissa is dedicated to advocating for high quality and diverse reading materials throughout Massachusetts. She enjoys guest reading and interpreting Haitian Creole for new migrant students in the North Attleboro public school system. In addition, Melissa is also involved in the establishment of a scholarship program at her mother’s former middle school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti providing assistance for students who cannot afford tuition.

Anne Summer Baldridge, Miss Maine USA 2024, is a resident of Portland, ME. She is a television news reporter at News Center Maine/ WCSH. She is an alumna of the University of Louisville where she earned a BA in Mass Communications with a specialty in Broadcast Journalism and she earned a Masters Degree in Journalism from Ball State University.

Anne is passionate about helping women create a growth mindset. As a young girl, she had big dreams of one day working in the news industry- but struggled with a speech impediment. Now that she has achieved two lifelong dreams despite her obstacle, she plans to encourage others to transform their weaknesses into winning stories.Anne is a classically trained ballerina and plays golf in her spare time. Her grandma, who is a 20 time state champion inspired her interest in golf and instilled a work ethic and determination that breaks ceilings.
During Anne’s year of service, she hopes to inspire women to show up authentically online and in everyday life by integrating her work as Miss Maine U.S.A with her TV career.Anne cannot wait for an incredible year representing and serving the state of Maine. Hopefully one day, you’ll see her anchoring a national talk show as the first Miss USA to win from Maine!