Kentucky Derby hats
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They’re big and they’re racy: Hats of the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby hats
Rachel Alexandra (that’s a filly, not a woman) won the $554,500 Kentucky Oaks race Friday at Churchill Downs. Now, spectators and horse-racing fans turn their attention to today’s 135th running of the Kentucky Derby.

But for some, it’s not just about the horses. Head-turning hats--from cheesy to classy--vie for attention at the event held every year in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. Check out a video and photographs of Derby hats at www.kentuckyderby.com/2009/.

Wendy Haight of Louisville, Ky., wears a fancy hat in the paddock area before the Kentucky Oaks race Friday. (David J. Phillip, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
A woman wears a fancy hat in the paddock area before the Kentucky Oaks race. (David J. Phillip, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
James Brown of Louisville, Ky., shows off his horse hat in the paddock area . (David J. Phillip, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
A jumbo pink hat tops off a Kentucky Derby tradition. (David J. Phillip, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
Victoria Moll of Louisville wears a feathery hat while waiting for the start of the Kentucky Oaks race. (Rob Carr, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
Althea Otis of Louisville peeks out from beneath her fancy bonnet. (Charlie Riedel, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
Pink in the paddock area? It’s the color of choice for this trio of hats. (Darron Cummings, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
If you don’t have an outrageous hat, maybe Derby glasses will do, like this pair on Jan Marie Mueller of Louisville(David J. Phillip, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
Hat designer Vicky Hoskinson, who blames the economy for curtailing sales of her new hats this year, spruced up this hat for a Derby-going client. (Ed Reinke, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
Topping off? Spectators are in the swing Friday. (Denis Paquin, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
Jenny Hollifield, left, and Banita Conte in their finest for the Kentucky Oaks race. (Morry Gash, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
One spectator at Churchill Down wears what looks like a homemade hat--is that Snow White on the brim?--on Friday. (Charlie Riedel, Associated Press)
Kentucky Derby hats
Five years ago, the late Anna Nicole Smith made a pink impression at the Kentucky Derby.  (Mike Simons, Getty Images)
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