The first Saturday in May is always Kentucky Derby Day, and fans at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie celebrated the 139-year-old tradition with a live simulcast of the race from Churchill Downs and, of course, a Best Hat contest. A huge crowd turned out for the brilliant spring day, which included 10 thoroughbred races at Lone Star.
I arrived just as the hat contest was starting. So many hats to photograph, so little time.
I barely managed to work my way down a long line of the most impressive collection of hats Ive ever witnessed before the 10 finalists were chosen. Colorful, creative, gaudy and sublime, there were hats with feathers, bows and even a towering giraffe head.
After the preliminary judging, the finalists were brought to the Winners Circle and Grand Prize winners were announced for the most stylish and the most creative. Almost as impressive as the hats was the way the women handled them in the gusty Texas wind.
Live racing started about 1:30 and ended about 6:30 with a generous break in between for the simulcast of the Derby.
Orb won the 139th Run for the Roses on an extremely muddy track. There were plenty of high-fives in the crowd as the Derby ended and winning tickets were cashed.
After the last live race, there was a concert to cap off the evening.
The 2013 Spring Thoroughbred Season continues at Lone Star Park through July 6 with races Thursdays through Sundays. Pat Green plays a post race concert on July 5. For more information, check out www.lonestarpark.com