LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thursday brought Thurby to Churchill Downs, but it also brought rain.

That didn't stop a storm of fans from showing up at the racetrack, however.

A freshly tilled track greeted more than 36,000 fans as gates opened at 11 a.m., in preparation for the first race, which went off at 12:45 p.m.

A couple of years ago, Churchill Downs christened the Thursday of Derby week "Thurby," a time to celebrate all things Kentucky, including bourbon, bluegrass native singers and horse racing.

Over the next three days, the track expects to serve 127,000 mint juleps, set out 20,000 flowers and see 400,000 fans come through the track.

The sour weather meant fashion choices trended toward jackets and ponchos, at hats brought both style and function.

"I didn't realize it, but I think the hat keeps the warmth in a little bit," Ruth Schultz said. "So a little drizzle is fine, and I'm just having such a good time, I'm not really noticing the weather that much."

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