Louisville Swelled by Derby Throng: Thousands Upon Thousands of Visitors Trek to Town; Sectional Interest Evident, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-06


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Louisville Swelled By Derby Throng Thousands Upon Thousands Of Visitors Trek to Town; Sectional Interest Evident By OSCAR OTIS CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 5. — Derby excitement gripped this usually placid city on the banks of the Ohio River today as thousands upon thousands of visitors swarmed into town by every modern method of conveyance and in numbers which would seem to forecast a second or near record mass of humanity on the historic and hallowed Downs race course tomorrow afternoon. And, as customary, the city outdid itself in making the Derby throngs as comfortable as possible. Downtown Louisville was decorated with a gala motif, and most business establishments hung out this years Derby flag, a banner bearing the picture of a gay black horse and the insignia "Welcome Derby Visitors." The crowds, seeking the excitement of Derby eve, did not have to go far to find it. Hotel lobbies were jammed, and all Louisville business establishments, especially the hotels, restaurants and night clubs, reported business was better than brisk. Hundreds of residents made rooms in private homes available to visitors. Suggest Parking Away From Track Kentucky State and Louisville City police were working full crews in an effort to expedite motor traffic into the city, and, once there, to the Churchill Downs track. Officials made a last minute appeal suggesting that everybody would get to the track more quickly if they parked away and availed themselves of public transportation. A system of one-way streets, leading to the track in the morning, arid away from it in the afternoon, have been designated. Parking has been banned in some areas. Special routes have been cleared for cabs and buses. More than 6,000 signs have been posted to aid visitors in finding their way to the track in the most expeditious manner. The weather did not monopolize conversation to the extent it did last year because the forecast, considered quite accurate, is for scattered showers tonight, but clearing * and somewhat cooler for Derby Day. The showers are not expected to be heavy, but if they are, a track the next thing to, if not fast, is anticipated because there will be some winds in the morning which will speed the drying process. Fans took some comfort, too, in the announcement that it would not be overly warm and humid. Observers said it was a typical Derby crowd. By that, it was meant that the race had attracted what might be termed a cross section of America, for the race has a universal appeal. The world of finance, industry, the motion picture colony, was well represented, but by far the bulk of the arrivals were just plain "people." The excitement was heightened by the fact that tomorrows Derby is one of the most wide open runnings, at least looking at the race in advance, of any of the previous 75. Derby opinions were asked for, and freely given. Everyone has a horse, it seems. Sectional interest was evident everywhere. The thousands here from Texas and Oklahoma were rooting for Oil Capitol and Middleground, respectively. New Yorkers were almost solidly behind Hill Prince,, even though this colt was foaled in Virginia. Of course, the latter were for Hill Prince, too, but the colt gained Derby stature as a three-year-old this spring at Jamaica and a score on his part would well be a victory for the East. California, it goes without saying, is rooting for the first California-bred in years with more than a fighting chance, namely, the sensational Your Host. A victory by Your Host will set off a real demonstratoin by the many West Coasters here for the race and in the state itself. Transportation companies are entitled to, a word of commendation for their handling of Derby reservations. A large part of the business is by special train and plane. The specials, some from as far away as the West Coast, became hotels during their stay here. The fans lived in their Pullman cars, and commuted from the yards to the. track. Air line companies did

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1950050601/drf1950050601_19_5
Local Identifier: drf1950050601_19_5
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800