Fayette County

Racing fans flock to Keeneland for Derby experience without the drive

Herald-Leader Staff Report

Robin Baskette reacts after winning the Flamingo Race, run for the 22nd year, over Kristin Dyson, Mareesa Welch and Page Harman in the paddock on Kentucky Derby day at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, May 6, 2017.
Robin Baskette reacts after winning the Flamingo Race, run for the 22nd year, over Kristin Dyson, Mareesa Welch and Page Harman in the paddock on Kentucky Derby day at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, May 6, 2017.

Thousands of fans flocked to Keeneland to watch the Run for the Roses at the annual Derby Day at Keeneland, billed as the world’s largest Kentucky Derby party.

By Saturday afternoon, the sun peeked out, fans grabbed an extra sweater and the tailgating was on at The Hill.

“There is just a lot of enthusiasm,” said Keeneland spokeswoman Amy Owens, who noted that tickets for all of the dining rooms and the Entertainment Center were sold out.

Patrons were permitted to picnic inside the grandstand area, as well as watch events in Louisville on more than 1,000 televisions.

Attractions included live music, children’s activities including pony rides and a Derby hat contest.

The Red Mile also hosted a Derby Fest Saturday, with a hat contest, simulcast wagering, food and drink specials and live music.

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