Sports

More than 50,000 people attended the Kentucky Derby this year – a much smaller crowd than in a typical year given the coronavirus pandemic.

There were fabulous hats, occasional matching masks and unlimited mint juleps for those in reserved seats. Last but not least, there was a horse race — the winner was Medina Spirit, a horse trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by John Velazquez.

Photos from the track are by J. Tyler Franklin.

J. Tyler Franklin | wfpl.org

Medina Spirit and John Velazquez, winners of the 147th Kentucky Derby

Though masks were mandatory any time attendees weren’t eating or drinking, compliance was spotty at best.

J. Tyler Franklin | wfpl.org

Crowd at the 2021 Kentucky Derby

J. Tyler Franklin | wfpl.org

In the paddock, Gary Faulkner and his wife Miranda Faulkner at the 2021 Kentucky Derby

In the paddock, Gary Faulkner was wearing a giant top-hat, crowned with a plastic horse and bugle. He and his wife Miranda Faulkner were not wearing masks.

“We’re outside,” Miranda Faulkner said.

“Masks have been on long enough,” Gary Faulkner said. “It’s time to get back to reality. That’s how I feel.”

J. Tyler Franklin | wfpl.org

Attendees at the Kentucky Derby

J. Tyler Franklin | wfpl.org

The garland of roses for the winner is escorted into Churchill Downs.

J. Tyler Franklin | wfpl.org

Spectators greet a horse at Churchill Downs before the 2021 Kentucky Derby

J. Tyler Franklin | wfpl.org
Kate Howard is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.