YONKERS, N.Y. – The Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway will celebrate the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday with an hommage to races of yesteryear.
The raceway will award prizes to the participants with the most distinguished and unique hats. Several elected officials, including Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick, will make up a panel of judges for the contest.
The contest harkens back to the early years of the Kentucky Derby when fashion, particularly the hats, would be the subject of much discussion. Those in attendance at the race were expected to wear only their most fashionable hats, and a woman without a hat was even considered disgraceful.
That tradition continues today, as women in attendance at Churchill Downs, more often than not, are seen in hats. Men often wear them, as well.
“The Kentucky Derby is an event steeped in history and tradition. Not only does the Derby celebrate the finest in horse racing but it brings people together to revel in the excitement of both sports and fashion,” Lesnick said. “I look forward to seeing the ‘crown of roses’ awarded to the first place thoroughbred at Churchill Downs and also to the one worn by our winning participant at Yonkers Raceway.”
Participants must register at the trackside table at the raceway from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Contestants will display their hats to the panel at 4:30 p.m. and the winners will be revealed at 5 p.m.
First prizes of $500 will be awarded for “most creative” and “most fashionable” hats. Two second place prizes of $250 and two third place prizes of $100 will also be awarded, one for each category.
Yonkers Raceway plans to simulcast the Kentucky Derby.
From a report by Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway