The Churchill Downs red carpet returned in full force on Saturday as the celebrity headed back to Louisville for the 148th Kentucky Derby.
Before the Run for the Roses, celebrities from near and far stood as they made their way onto the carpet, without shortage of colorful, eye-catching hats, cotton sport coats and horse winning predictions.
Even the inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex (Rixy, who wore a charm) touting the latest release in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, hit the red carpet.
First-time Derbigor Jason Aldan, who gave an impromptu performance of “Pink Houses” at the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala the night before, said he loved reuniting the other country music stars at the party.
Scenes from the Kentucky Derby 2022:Fashion is back, celebs, horses, snooping and more
Like a number of celebrities who spoke to The Courier Journal, Aldean said he didn’t do much homework on picking a horse.
“I don’t know anything about horse racing,” said the country music star. “I’ll say, ‘This horse looks great. It looks like he might win. This is my strategy. “
Rapper Jack Harlow may have caused the biggest stir, as dozens of his entourage flooded the red carpet. Onlookers shouted his name as he passed, phones in hand trying to snap a picture of the Louisville native.
Harlow was also working on the racetrack on Saturday, filming a music video for his new song “Churchill Downs” featuring rap star Drake.
Actor Michael Gross is back in Louisville this weekend for the Kentucky Derby. Before starring in “Family Ties” in the 1980s, he lived in Old Louisville in the mid-1970s and worked at the Actors of Louisville Theater.
Although he admitted he had no idea how he would place his bet on Saturday, he said he was grateful to be back at a place that holds so much meaning for him.
“I never went to the derby because I was always busy with work,” he said. “I’m here because I’m a people watcher.”
Current and retired athletes in style Saturday showed off a host of soccer players, such as University of Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, former University of Louisville stars Brian Broome and Eric Wood, Hall of Fame Warren Moon and Franco Harris, and recently drafted Atlanta Falcons QB Desmond Ridder.
Ryder, a graduate of St. Xavier High School in Louisville and the University of Cincinnati, was joined by his fiancée Claire Cornett on Saturday.
Kentucky Derby 2022:Live updates on favorites, odds, races and more at Churchill Downs
The couple said they are preparing to head to Atlanta this next week as the small campsites approach, and they still need to close residences.
Familiar faces are back on the Churchill Downs red carpet this year, including TV personality Star Jones (on the occasion of her 10th derby), singer Taylor Dane and singer-actor Joey Fatone.
He was wearing one of the most eye-catching jackets, featuring a wide range of colors and flowers, which Fatone said he got from the Orlando, Florida, department store he goes to every year for his derby outfit.
Although Derby is old hat for Fatone, this year his new daughter Brianna has been by his side. She wears a light purple wide-brimmed hat that she bought in Louisville.
“I’ve never brought a woman to a derby, so we’d love to bring you a hat,” Fatone said.
Reporter Matthew Glowicki can be contacted at 502-582-4000, [email protected], or on Twitter at @MattGlo.