Now, on to the Great Bed Race. The winner of that race was Ford Motors again. I hear that they actually hold tryouts for bed race positions and that they actually practice all year round. Anyway, they made it round the track in like 24 seconds or something like that.
This is not the winning team but I did like their super costumes.
Today's big Derby event is the Great (why do all these things start with "great"?) Steamboat race.
The event actually kicked off with a calliope contest down on the riverfront. How many people can actually say that they have been to a calliope contest? Then, the Belle of Louisville and the Delta Queen "race" down the Ohio River to Six Mile Island, turn around, and race back up again. It takes about an hour and a half to cover the fourteen mile distance. This has been a derby tradition since 1963. As a historical note, the Belle was built in 1914 and the Delta Queen in 1924. This may be the last race for the Delta Queen if she cannot get an extension on her exemption for fire codes or something like that. Last year's race ended in a controversial decision because the Queen actually won the race but the judges awarded the trophy to the Belle because she was carrying more passengers. (There are rumors that the race outcome is predetermined but no one has ever proven it. The Queen has a more powerful engine but the Belle has managed to win more times. Go figure.)And what is the prize for winning the race you might ask?
And you may still be asking what the prize is. Well, these are the beloved "golden antlers." The winning steamboat gets to keep possession of them during the year. If the Delta Queen loses it's exemption, rumor has it that the antlers will be retired permanently.
(Just a tip, most derby favorites don't win. He is pretty though.)