Big crowds brave several inches of rain for 144th Kentucky Derby - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Big crowds brave several inches of rain for 144th Kentucky Derby

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Rain aside, upwards of 150,000 people are expected at Churchill Downs today to witness the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby.

The big race will go off at 6:50 p.m. and be televised live on NBC.

Justify, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by jockey Mike Smith, is the favorite with 3-1 odds in the morning line. The colt is trying to become the first horse since 1882 to win the Derby without having raced as a 2-year-old.

Heavy showers hit Louisville on Saturday afternoon, and umbrellas were not allowed at Churchill Downs. Ponchos, however, were, and they were in heavy supply around the track.

By 4:30 p.m., Saturday had already become the wettest Kentucky Derby on record. The previous record, when 2.31 inches of rain fell in town, had stood since 1918. As of race time, more than 2.8 inches of rain had fell at Louisville International Airport, which is also a record for May 5.

The Louisville Metro Police Department did not make any arrests at Oaks on Churchill Downs property.

In case you haven't heard, there's a new parking and transportation plan for Oaks and Derby. Here's a link that explains it all: https://www.kentuckyderby.com/visit/visitor-info/new-parking

Parking at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Kentucky Oaks day on Friday and Kentucky Derby day on Saturday costs $20. There are no shuttles from the stadium. Wear comfortable shoes because you'll have to walk about 20 minutes to the track. 

Shuttles do run from the Kentucky Expo Center on Oaks and Derby, but you have to have a permit that most people purchased with seating. If you don't have one, plan on getting in your steps on the way to the entry gate.

Of course, you'll need to budget for food and drink, and it can really add up, if you're spending all day at Churchill Downs. We've done a little checking on concession prices. For example, an Old Forester Mint Julep will cost $14 and comes with a glass. And if you want a burger, fries and a soda, plan on spending about $17.

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