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Why the Kentucky Derby is crazy about hats

2018-05-04

Because, Anglophilia. Time was racetracks summoned images of gambling and boozing — and, be real, some still do. But when Col. Meriwether Clark Jr. founded the Kentucky Derby in 1875 he modeled it after British horseracing, where a strict dress code for men and women included hats. Think Eliza Doolitle —  dressed in black and white and posh all over in "My Fair Lady" — screaming "C'mon Dover, move your bloomin' arse." The language, salty. That hat, sheer elegance.