Tri-State Derby lovers head to Turfway

FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) - Thoroughbred racing fans by the thousands watched and bet on the Kentucky Derby at Turfway Park on Saturday.

The Northern Kentucky track will hosted its annual Derby party from 12:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

The feature food item will be the traditional Kentucky Hot Brown.

"This is the superbowl of horse racing, so if you're going to enjoy it why not be here with the people in a place you can make a wager on it too," said Turfway Marketing Director Jack Gordon.

"For me it's a tradition. I love the Kentucky Derby. I'm from Kentucky and I've always celebrated the Derby whether it's a Derby party or coming to the track to bet on it," said Regina Wesley.

"Every year, it's a good time, get to hang out with friends, bet some of the races, hopefully win," said Jessica Hodge, a horse racing fan.

Donald Clausen just wrote a book about horse racing back in the 1920's when his grandfather was a jockey. "It's something that's bred in our blood as Kentuckians I think, but the whole country appreciates what horse racing is, the importance of good thoroughbred breeding and selection," said Clausen.

Idella Tarver says the derby is one of the best things about the Bluegrass state. "I'm proud that all these people come to my state plus I'm a bettor. I'm going to be winning, I'm going to win today," said Tarver.

Clausen says there's a reason people come to the track to watch a horse race on TV. "People like to get, they can't all be in Louisville, they like to get the feel of the race and the hype," said Clausen.

Bill and Nancy Morgan say its a tradition. "We've been coming over here for years to be able to watch this since we can't go to Churchill," said Morgan.

Turfway Park held three Derby hat contests. Hat wearing patrons can enter into three categories; traditional, most creative and sexiest hat.

The star of the day was the simulcast of the 138 running of the Kentucky Derby.

Admission and parking are free. Turfway's gates opened at 10:00 a.m.

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