In May 1-7 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN - "There is no other day like it," said Laretta Pierce. "I'll be here from about 5:00 in the morning to 8 at night. This time of the year is just so unexplainable."
Pierce is talking about the Derby. That Kentucky tradition, which is an extended equine party of sorts that starts in Louisville on the Friday before the first Saturday in May and runs for weeks following as the race for the triple crown plays out.
Pierce is very involved in the local Derby activity in Russell County, since she manages Kentucky Off Track Betting.
"We'll be watching the drawing on Wednesday," Pierce said saying that the horses starting positions will be drawn then on live television.
Then Friday they'll be open for the Oaks, the big lead-in race at Churchill Downs.
The big event begins as they open the doors early Saturday, with breakfast at 8:00 so patrons have an hour to pick at their eggs as they begin to pick what they hope will be winners at the downs.
Wagering begins at 9:00 and the first race is off at 10:00 that morning.
She said last year that over a thousand people walked through their doors on Derby Day.
Given a forecast of rain and the high price of gas she said they anticipate even more patrons this year.
A big lunch with ham turkey dressing and all the sides is planned before that race which Kentucky is known for the world over.
"When it comes time for the Derby it'll be standing room only in here," Pierce said.
Since it is a horse race in Kentucky this gathering isn't all about food and cheering the horses. Pierce said there will be eight windows manned to take wagers, but there will also be 19 self-service machines available for patrons to place their bets.
But bets are taken there starting Friday on the Kentucky Derby, Pierce said.
It may not be as much of the pomp nor as many big hats as the high-dollar boxes at the downs and there won't be the roudyness and alcohol of the derby's infamous infield but the OTB in Jamestown is a $2 party open to everyone.
So Pierce encouraged everyone so inclined to save their gas money and skip the traffic to stop in for Derby at the OTB.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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Jamestown KY 42629