With thousands of media members in town, covering the Derby and - WDRB 41 Louisville News

With thousands of media members in town, covering the Derby and Oaks is a whole new race

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- If you can't make it to Churchill Downs for Oaks or Derby, then you're probably going to check things out on TV or online. But making that happen is complicated, and it all starts in the parlay. 

Inside is the media center, where journalists from all over convene to bring fans the sights and stories from the track.

"The fun thing for me about the Derby was always that the best sports writers in the country came here," said WDRB Sports Columnist Eric Crawford. "And as a young guy just starting out, it was a way to compare what you did to what the best guys in the country did."

But now the landscape has changed and so has covering the weekend.

"It's specialty media now, more website media," Crawford said. "There's a lot of industry-specific medias that cover this race."

About 2,000 media members from 250 outlets cover Oaks and Derby, presenting a unique challenge for Churchill Downs.

"Some folks from South America ... This year we have Mendelssohn running in the Derby, so we've had some interest from overseas in England and Ireland," Churchill Downs Spokesman Darren Rogers said.

While horse racing may be seen and heard differently than in years past, the goal is still the same

"I've always told new journalists or people who come here and aren't used to it that if you can cover the Oaks and Derby, you can cover anything," Crawford said. "The interest is there, and it continues to grow ... It still has a charm that's not like any other sporting event."

For all our coverage from Churchill Downs this week, click here.

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