|Published:||May 04, 2013 11:57 PM EDT|
|Updated:||May 05, 2013 12:12 AM EDT|
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - It's known as the fastest two minutes in sports, but for Kentucky Derby fans, it's an all day event. If you couldn't make it to Churchill Downs to watch the thoroughbreds, the Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Track say they had the next best thing.
Nearly 5,000 derby fans placed their bets at the track in hopes of walking away a little richer.
"My husband and I do something every year. Haven't made it to Kentucky but we're working on it," said Keri Piasecki.
Last year, the track pulled in $480,000 just on the "Race for the Roses."
"Our early numbers are up so it looks like a much better crowd this year and we had good numbers last year, so very happy so far," said Juan Fra with the Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Track, "The economy the way it's been picking up I think that helps."
The windy weather didn't deter derby enthusiasts, but did have them holding onto their hats.
"Lets hope my sewing stayed together, otherwise I'm done for!" said Emily Augustin.
Saturday the track hosted a fancy hat contest and asked contestants to mimick the fashion seen at Churchill Downs.
"My boyfriend travels to New Orleans, so he has a ton of Mardi Gras stuff so I put it on a hat and here I am," said Augustin.
"I heard there was going to be a crazy hat competition and I just thought, why not make the actual derby on my hat?" said Piasecki.
And while only one hat could finish first, fans say that's what makes the derby a lasting tradition.
"It's exciting, there's not a true favorite so anyone can win," said Fra.
The winner of the hat contest got $500.