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Oklahoma casino celebrating Kentucky Derby

22 April 2011

CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Cherokee Casino - Will Rogers Downs will be alive with entertainment May 7 for the annual Derby Day celebration, which will coincide with the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby.

“Derby Day is traditionally our busiest day of the year,” said Kelly Cathey, racing secretary for Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs. “We expect great crowds and have full days of activities scheduled, so make sure you come early and stay late with us.”

Derby Day’s events begin at 9 a.m. with the $4.99 Breakfast on the Rail and a handicapping lesson on the racing apron by track announcer Jesse Ullery.

At 10 a.m. the first 250 guests to swipe their rewards card at guest services will receive an official Kentucky Derby shirt. As part of the day’s festivities, Mint Juleps will be available.

Dedicated race fans with the most creative Derby hat will be awarded with cash prizes in the Will Rogers Downs annual Kentucky Derby hat contest. Registration is from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Judging is at 3:30 p.m., and the top three winners will receive $300, $200 and $100, respectively.

Live racing begins at 12:30 p.m. and features the fifth running of both the Clem McSpadden Route 66 Memorial Stakes and the Wilma Mankiller Memorial Stakes. Racing will be halted for the 5:15 post time of the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby.
“The excitement of a new meet never gets old,” said Cathey. “For the last two years, jockey Nena Matz has dominated both the Clem McSpadden Memorial and the Wilma Mankiller Memorial. It’s going to be really exciting to see if she can keep the streak alive.”

The six-furlong Clem McSpadden Memorial Route 66 is limited to colts and geldings that are 3 years old and upward. The purse is $50,000 guaranteed, plus $5,000 from the OKB program if eligible.

The Wilma Mankiller Memorial has a purse of $50,000 guaranteed, plus $5,000 from the OKB program if eligible. The six-furlong race is restricted to fillies and mares that are 3 years old and upward.

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