Louisvillians See Street Car Derby: Crowd Estimated at Upwards Of 60,000 Made Up of Fans Living in Vicinity of Track, Daily Racing Form, 1943-05-03


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Louisvillians See Street Car Derby DerbyCrowd Crowd Estimated at Upwards Of 60000 Made Up of Fans Living in Vicinityof Track TrackLOUISVILLE LOUISVILLE Ky May 1 Conspicuous in the Derby crowd estimated at upwards of 60000 was the absence of persons of prominence outside of Louisville and the vicinity for the attendance at Churchill Downs today was almost exclusively a local one Official Washington which annually sent a heavy delegation of legislators and high government dignitaries to Louisville had few if any representatives in todays turnout and the only state governor on hand was Kentuckys Keene Johnson who came over from the state capital less than 100 miles away to serve as official host and to present a gold trophy to the owner of the Derby winner winnerAbsent Absent also were the hundreds of movie radio and stage folk ranking captains of industry and leaders of the civic and social life of the country outside of the city who in the past have come here tomake the Derby day crowds annually the most cosmopolitan assemblages to gather anywhere on the North American continent for a sporting event eventThere There may have been a few visitors from far away points but a good deal more than 90 per cent of todays patronage was said by track officials to have come from a radius of 100 miles of Louisville The dip in out of town attendance was especially noticeable in the parking areas which ac ¬ commodated only cars with Kentucky license plates And there was a con ¬ siderable shortage of such vehicles since mostof todays fans reached the track oh street cars and buses busesGates Gates Opened at 8 OClock OClockAs As in the past the crowd came early and when the gates were thrown open at 8 oclock this morning several hundreds of patrons charged through to select the places of better vantage in the unreserved sections In less than an hour after the gates were opened perhaps as many as 5000 fans were on the scene From then on there was a steady stream of people and they still were coming in within a half hour of post time for the Derby itself itselfFor For the entertainment of the early ar ¬ rivals the first race was staged at noon and by that time more than 25000 persons were on the scene most of them in the un ¬ reserved sections and in the spacious centerfield Then the holders of boxes and seats began to filter through the turnstiles and by 2 oclock there must have been close to 60000 Derby celebrants on the grounds groundsThe The spirit of festivity prevailed as in pre ¬ vious years and but for the shrunken at ¬ tendance and the additional color lent by the presence of so many men and women in uniform the scenes presented here today were much the same as they have been in the past pastRefundMoney RefundMoney Wagered on Ocean Wave WaveThe The parimutuel windows were opened at 10 oclock and from the beginning it was apparent that Count Fleet would be sup ¬ ported to the exclusion of all the others Wherever groups gathered the Derby was discussed in terms of the number of lengths that the Hertz colt would lead home his rivals and when Ocean Wave was with ¬ drawn the race to a great majority of those present was conceded to be over as far as top honors were concerned The money they wagered was refunded most of Ocean Waves admirers swinging their support to Count Fleet to make him one of the short ¬ estpriced choices in the history of the Derby DerbyThe The withdrawal earlier of Twoses caused hardly a ripple for he was given little or no consideration in connection with the big race and whatever support the William E Boeing entry received was invested in the chances of Slide Rule his stablemate stablemateWhile While the size of todays attendance was somewhat under that of a year ago it was not noticeable to those who made up the throng for to them there seemed to be the same goodnatured jostling pushing and jamming of Derby days in previous years yearsWhile While Col Matt J Winn could not enter ¬ tain the countless notables who have at ¬ tended previous Derbys he received hun ¬ dreds of messages from many of those who could not be here but who still retain their enthusiastic interest in the Churchill Downs classic

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1940s/drf1943050301/drf1943050301_3_2
Local Identifier: drf1943050301_3_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800