Fans flock to Churchill Downs for Kentucky "Thurby" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fans flock to Churchill Downs for Kentucky "Thurby"

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Derby 140 is scheduled to run just over two days from now, but people are already gearing up for the fun with the Kentucky "Thurby."

The Thursday before Derby has always been busy at Churchill Downs, but now for the first time, the track is formally recognizing the date with the name "Thurby."

"My friends, they just said that this is the new time to come out for all the locals, and so I wanted to give this a try, and it's a gorgeous day," said race fan Michelle Andrews.

The Kentucky Derby is the day that the world looks at Churchill Downs. Oaks has become a spectacle in and of itself, known as Louisville's day at the races, and now we have "Thurby," which is a celebration of all things Kentucky.

In addition to 11 races, fans can sip on some bourbon tasting, take in some live bluegrass country music, and the track is hosting a contest to give one lucky winner a pair of box seats to races tomorrow and Saturday.

"Really, it's formalizing what's already been a great tradition at Churchill Downs," said Darren Rodgers, a Churchill Downs spokesman. "Thursday of Derby week -- as the week goes on and builds up closer to the Derby, you see those crowds increase. Let's go ahead and formalize it. Let's call it Thurby -- Thursday on Derby week -- and make it a great big party."

Traditionally 25,000 - 30,000 people come to Churchill Downs for this event, the Thursday before Derby.

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