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2004 Kentucky Derby Day Photos

Date: 05/01/2004

The 130th Kentucky Derby is now history and Smarty Jones has joined the elite group of undefeated Derby winners. I have already posted pictures from the big race, the undercard, and the entire Derby field, but here are a few photos to show other parts of Derby day. Click the photo to see a larger version.

The big story of the day was the rain. Heavy rains, hail, and lightning came through about 90 minutes before the Derby and the track quickly changed from fast to sloppy. To the left is a view of the grandstand from the paddock during the rain. Note the sheet of water draining from the roof in the left of the photo to get an idea just how heavy the rain was. It even collapsed one of the infield tents from the weight of the water! To the right is the track maintenance crew trying to get the track fit to race on.

Trainer Michael Dickinson came out just before the Derby to inspect the track and try to find the best path for his horse Tapit to take. Unfortunately Tapit did not like the slop and finished ninth.

Because of all the construction going on this year, Millionaire's Row was not usable so all the VIPs were relegated to the infield this year in massive tents and temporary boxes.

Smarty Jones on the walk-over from the backside for the Derby and heading back to the barn after winning the race.

The fans make their way across Central Avenue to Churchill Downs.

Champion mare Azeri may not have managed to win her race on Derby day, but she is still a gorgeous horse and a fan favorite.

Artist Peter Williams was in the paddock painting as usual earlier in the day before the rains came.

Photos courtesy of Tina Hines.

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