SLIDESHOW: Kentucky Derby Red Carpet 2012 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SLIDESHOW: Kentucky Derby Red Carpet 2012

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- VIPs from entertainment and sports walk the red carpet on Churchill Downs' famed Millionaires Row before the Kentucky Derby.

Several already had Derby picks in mind; others asked reporters for their betting tips. 

It's part of the Downs that's heavily secured for Derby Day; only those with special tickets and credentials have access. 

The celebrities say there are a variety of reasons why they enjoy coming to the Kentucky Derby.

"Southern hospitality. Kentucky's always so beautiful. So are the women. So are the people. Very friendly," says singer Joey Fatone.

"It's my first Derby ever, so I'm honored to be here," says Dakota Meyer, a Medal of Honor recipient from Kentucky.

"The people we bring in who have never experienced it. This year we brought in Coach Belichick," says U of L basketball coach Rick Pitino.

"It's great to be down here with Coach Pitino and it's the most exciting 2 minutes in sports. It's a great event," says Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

"I think we're actually experiencing what we're looking forward to. Just the whole vibe. The energy, the clothes, the people. The race kinda falls in second to the gala event," says actor Ice T and Coco.

Some celebrities say it does take awhile to figure out what to wear to the Kentucky Derby.

"There was a lot of preparation in the past 2 months that goes into the hats, and then the best of it. We left all our dresses on the airplane," says Steffi Graff and Andre Agassi.

"This morning I had to wake up early and go to my stylist. She dressed me today. She put my flower tie and flower on me so I look nice today," says UK basketball player Doron Lamb.

"Alot of that has a lot of dancing involved. Hair flipping. Taylor Swift listening. Pit Bull. Dance routines. High kicks. You name it," says ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews.

"I knew I was coming a couple of weeks ago, and I just started thinking, what is my image of a southern lady. So Carolina Hererra helped me with my dress and I'm feeling like I fit in," says Debra Messing, who was wearing a specially designed hat by Grey Goose that was going to be auctioned off for a good cause.

"We plan more for this than for our wedding days.," country singer Miranda Lambert said laughing.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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