In the time when the Derby was first held and for several decades after, it was common for men and women to wear hats daily, but especially for special occasions and most outdoor events. At Royal Ascot in Berkshire, England, for the Royal Enclosure area, hats are a required element for ladies, so in many ways the Kentucky Derby hat tradition is a reflection and has continued through today.
As the popularity of the race grew, people – especially women — began to wear extravagant hats and fascinators. Men got in on the fun and it’s become a tradition now for many to wear fedoras, bowlers, pork pie, panama and many others to keep up with their dates.
Usually, Churchill Downs hosts a hat contest, but this year since the Derby will be contested patron-free, The Kentucky Derby Museum has invited people to enter their hats for inclusion in the 2020-2021 “It’s My Derby” fashion exhibit, which is a virtual contest.
An expert panel of industry insider judges will select 15-20 hats that will be on display in the museum from October 2020 through September 2021. Three specialty awards will be granted: the “Judges’ Choice Award” for best overall entry, the “Most Representative of Derby Award” for the hat that best captures the essence of the Kentucky Derby, and the “Employees’ Choice Award” selected by KDM staff.
|1||Finnick the Fierce||SCR||Rey Hernandez||Martin Garcia|
|2||Max Player||30-1||Steven M. Asmussen||Ricardo Santana, Jr.|
|3||Enforceable||30-1||Mark Casse||Adam Beschizza|
|4||Storm the Court||50-1||Peter Eurton||Julien Leparoux|
|5||Major Fed||50-1||Greg Foley||James Graham|
|6||King Guillermo||SCR||Juan Carlos Avila||Samy Camacho|
|7||Money Moves||30-1||Todd Pletcher||Javier Castellano|
|8||South Bend||50-1||Tyler Gaffalione||Bill Mott|
|9||Mr. Big News||50-1||Bret Calhoun||Gabriel Saez|
|10||Thousand Words||15-1||Bob Baffert||Florent Geroux|
|11||Necker Island||50-1||Chris Hartman||Miguel Mena|
|12||Sole Volante||30-1||Patrick Biancone||Luca Panici|
|13||Attachment Rate||50-1||Dale Romans||Joe Talamo|
|14||Winning Impression||50-1||Dallas Stewart||Joe Rocco, Jr.|
|15||NY Traffic||20-1||Saffie Joseph, Jr.||Paco Lopez|
|16||Honor A. P.||5-1||John A. Shirreffs||Mike Smith|
|17||Tiz the Law||3-5||Barclay Tagg||Manny Franco|
|18||Authentic||8-1||Bob Baffert||John Velazquez|
Miriam Lee has always been a horse racing fan thanks to trips to the tracks in her home state of Maryland with her father as kid. She owns an OTTB and is an advocate for promoting the sport among her peers. Miriam studies communication arts at Hood College and will receive her master’s degree in 2021, which she plans to use for a career in screenwriting. Her all-time favorite racehorse is Man O War.