Thunderstorm on Kentucky Derby Day.  Churchill Downs, Louisville.  May 1, 2004.  4:20 p.m. EDT.

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     The 2004 Kentucky Derby was run on a sloppy track about an hour after a thunderstorm rolled over Churchill Downs late that Saturday afternoon.  The storm was violent before it reached the Louisville area, with high winds, frequent lightning and hail.  Fortunately, it weakened some by the time it passed over the racetrack, else the thousands of people in the track's infield, uncovered and stranded in the open, could have been in real danger.  As it turned out, though, they just got real wet.
     This picture was taken during the height of the storm from the sixth floor of the new Jockey Club corporate suites addition above the grandstand, with a closeup view of the famous Twin Spires.  Two of the three people in the photo look down to the track and the inundated infield, surely glad to be safe and dry.  The man in the middle appears to be oblivious to the storm, focusing instead on the racing program in his hands.  Beyond the spires can be seen the enormous new clubhouse, still under construction in this view.
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Posted May 2, 2004.