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Derby is big business even in LV

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: May 03 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: May 03 2013 09:49:55 PM CDT

Get your mint julep ready, and maybe a fancy hat, too! It's Kentucky Derby time, the 139th Run for the Roses.

Get your mint julep ready, and maybe a fancy hat, too! It's Kentucky Derby time, the 139th Run for the Roses. It's 19 horses and the "most exciting two minutes in sports." Even though it's going down nearly 700 miles away, there's money to be made here in our area. One local shop is holding an inaugural block party and Kentucky Derby Hat Contest Saturday.

"Because they're fabulous, what's not fabulous about a derby hat," smiled co-owner of The Good-Buy Girls, Rose Ellen Moore.

Moore makes the accessories herself, she's been constructing hats since 2009.

"A hat makes you feel feminine and wonderful," explained Moore. "And it's unique just like the individual."

It's a big weekend for sales. But it isn't just hats that cash in on the race.

"Wild and crazy," described Marlene Hein. "It gets really crowded and very loud."

Hein is a Mutual Teller at Mohegan Sun The Downs at Lehigh. She knows May is money month for off-track betting parlors with the Kentucky Derby, and the Preakness Stakes two weeks later.

"By the time it's time for the race to go off it is so packed in here you can't see across the room," added Hein.

She says the crowds will start early. On a normal day the business sees a couple hundred patrons, last run for the roses they had nearly 4,000. It's their busiest day of the year.

"It's a big boost for the business," shared Hein. "It really is because it really draws people in, and some of them who have never been here before they will come back if they like it."

The gates open at the Kentucky Derby Saturday at 6:24PM.