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Photo courtesy of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie

It’s a tradition in Kentucky that’s world-renowned and the folks in Texas are making the Kentucky Derby Day a big deal here too.  Since Lone Star Park’s inaugural season in 1997 the local horse race track has been celebrating the Spring Thoroughbred racing season with a Kentucky Derby Day promotion each year.

“Derby Day draws an average crowd of around 18,000 [people] each year, many dressed in their colorful derby hats,” says Diantha Brazzell, Communications Manager for Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. “It’s a great place to see and be seen.”

Judging the best hat contest this year are LeeAnne Locken of Real Housewives of Dallas, Leigh Ann Adam of 103.7 KVIL and Steve Kemble, America's Sassiest Style Guru.

“Lone Star Park is also the only place in north Texas where for a $2 wager you can truly cheer for your favorite to win the race like you own it yourself plus, reap the rewards if it wins,” Brazzell says.

Today at Lone Star Park you couldn’t ask for a better Kentucky Derby weekend schedule, the fun actually began yesterday at the horse race track with the 20th running of the $200,000 Grade 3 Texas Mile.

Advance wagering also began yesterday for the Churchill Downs Race and will continue today with the headlining of the 142nd running of the Grade 1, $2 Million Kentucky Derby, a.k.a. "The run for the roses."

“The main event of course, is the simulcast of the Derby,” says Brazzell and then, of course, it’s the Best Hat Contest and plenty of flowing mint juleps too.

Gates open at 11:00 a.m. Saturday for Kentucky Derby Day and there will be 10 live races, the first of which begins at 2:05 p.m. (CDT). The Derby simulcast will take place after the eighth race at approximately 5:34 p.m. and the final two live races will follow with the last race scheduled for 6:43 p.m.

Live music can be found in the Courtyard of Champions from noon to 5:00 p.m. with the band Incognito in concert. The Family Fun Park, which is open from noon to 5:00 p.m., will allow kids to enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo and bounce houses.

“When the gates open 800 miles away in Louisville for the start of the Kentucky Derby, the loud roar you hear from the crowd at Lone Star Park is thrilling,” Brazzell concludes. “It’s evidence that the Derby is truly the most exciting two minutes in sports.”

The weekend fun continues into Sunday, May 8 for Mother's Day too.  In addition to a great day of racing, all women 21 years of age or older that enter the admission gates by 2:00 p.m. will receive an entry form for their chance to win various great prizes including Massage's, Spa Days, Jewelry, Cash and more in our Mother's Day Appreciation Giveaways.

The 2016 Spring Thoroughbred Season at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie runs through Sunday, July 17, 2016.

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