South Central Kentucky businesses prepare for Kentucky Derby

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Kentucky’s first major event after the COVID-19 shutdown is Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. And several businesses have been making preparations to allow for horseracing fans to have the best possible experience. 

Kentucky Downs is allocating more area for betting and horse players as well as preparing staff for a larger crowd while still allowing for social distancing opportunities.

The Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest days Kentucky Downs has every single year, according to the director of marketing John Wholihan.

“It will be one of the larger ones in terms of number of bodies in here because we will have all of our regular players, a lot of our regular horse players and then a lot of casual and newer type people coming in because … things are opening up a little bit in terms of people feeling a little more comfortable. They have had their vaccine so they want to get out and do something. Great weather out here, so it is going to be a great weekend,” said Wholihan.

This is also a big event for the Indian Hills Clubhouse.

Though the building burned down and is in the process of being rebuilt, the management has set up tents outside in order to host a large and COVID safe Derby party.

The event will feature large TVs to watch the horses, with food and dancing to follow.

A wonderful event for horse racing country, says Ken Crowder, general manager of Indian Hills Country Club.

“It’s one of our larger events and it’s one that our members historically and traditionally have attended with a lot of folks every year. So everybody looks forward to this, and we have a lot of preparation that goes into this and the members know that,” said Crowder.

And if you like a local underdog, one of the owners of Kentucky Downs is the owner of a Derby horse, Midnight Bourbon.

If you want to watch the Derby, you can check the race and all of the festivities out on WNKY NBC starting at 1:30p.m. Saturday.