LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A steady stream of people are heading for the exits at Churchill Downs, about two hours before the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby.
The rain has continued unabated, pouring harder as the day wore on. Swaths of the grandstand’s uncovered seats that sell for hundreds each are empty, as Derby goers have opted instead to cram under awnings and overhangs to try to stay out of the rain.
Otis Miller joined the stream of those who had enough and decided to leave. He and his friend, William Smith, were visiting from Cincinnati for their first Derby in the infield, where there is little shelter. Both were sopping wet by the time they threw in the towel.
Miller gestured to his bright yellow suit, soaked under a flimsy poncho.
“I tried to bring the sun out on a rainy day with my yellow suit,” he said, “but Mother Nature won that battle.”