It's been called the most exciting two minutes of sports. But what can you expect to pay to attend the Kentucky Derby and sip a traditional mint julep from the sidelines?

The Derby, as it's called, takes place every year on the first Saturday in May and is the culmination of the Triple Crown horse racing championship. Thousands gather to watch the nation's best thoroughbreds zip around the two-mile track at Churchill Downs. And they spend a lot for that privilege. The average cost of a hotel in Louisville on May 6 is $1,227 a night—roughly 10 times the price during the rest of the month, according to travel booking site Trivago, and three times higher than what hotel rooms in Houston went for during the recent Super Bowl.

Here, MONEY breaks down what you can expect to spend for a day (or, perhaps, a weekend) at the races. And don't forget to bring your cash if you're feeling lucky. Under Kentucky laws, you can't put any bets on your credit card.

For the Budget-Minded

$75 for general admission tickets: No assigned seat, but you'll get access to the paddock area to see the horses saddled before the race.

$50 for gas: You could road trip to get there, rather than flying.

$154 for a hotel room in Lexington: You'll save your pennies by staying in this city, about 80 miles away.

$75 for "Rally Bus" from Lexington to Churchill Downs: Saves on a parking pass and allows you to generously sample that Kentucky bourbon.

$70 for food and drinks: Stop by the grocery store to grab a boxed lunch—but since you can't bring in alcohol, skip the lines by ordering via the Churchill Downs app.

Total: $424

For the Weekender

$747 for ticket to Clubhouse seating: This includes both the Derby and the Oaks race, held the day before.

$325 for roundtrip airfare to Louisville.

$700 for two nights at a mid-range hotel near the airport: Hotels within walking distance to the race start at $1,900.

$129 for a rental car for the weekend: You'll want to get around town before and after the races.

$20 for offsite parking: Walk to the racetrack from there.

$70 for dinners after the races: Clubhouse seats include drinks and food at the track, but stop at the Brown Hotel later for the original "Hot Brown" sandwich.

$22 for drinks: Because you can't resist at least a couple of mint juleps, at $11 a pop.

Total: $2,013

For the Big Spender

$6,999 for ticket to the Stakes Room: You'll get stunning views of the track, plus an all-day open bar and gourmet food buffet.

$325 for roundtrip airfare to Louisville.

$3,000 for two-night stay at Galt House: It's both historic and luxurious.

$30 for shuttle to Churchill Downs: These shuttles run all day long from downtown Louisville.

$599 for the weekend kickoff Fillies and Lilies party: Make sure to pack your hat.

$1,000 for a limited edition Mint Julep: It's made with Woodford Reserve bourbon and served in a commemorative cup.

Total: $11,953

How MONEY Calculated the Costs

The organizers of the Kentucky Derby have a variety of resources, including several planning guides that MONEY used to price out ticket packages and dining experiences. Hotel prices for Louisville and the surrounding area were provided by Trivago.

Airfare to Louisville International Airport was provided by flight booking app Hopper. The cost was based on an average price of flights booked from other U.S. cities. The best time to book is at least 25 days before departure, after which prices rise an estimated $6 each day you wait, Hopper reports.

The cost of gas for a road trip was calculated using the national averages for price and car fuel efficiency for the average road trip of 261 miles, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The average cost of a car rental was gathered from

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